Em­brace the Sea

That's China - - The Garden On The Sea -

The no­bil­ity of nav­i­ga­tion was ex­tolled by Byzan­tine Greek his­to­rian and philoso­pher Ge­orgius Pachymeres in one of his books as “turn­ing the im­pos­si­ble into pos­si­ble”.

Peo­ple in Ding­hai are prov­ing they have what it takes to lead the coun­try in its ‘ma­rine re­nais­sance’. The 21st cen­tury has seen the is­lan­ders em­brac­ing the sea with lofty as­pi­ra­tions.

To­day’s Ding­hai is a leader in China’s river-ocean com­bined trans­porta­tion, with the Jin­tang Is­land turn­ing into a world-class mod­ern lo­gis­tic cen­ter.

Bai­quan Town serves as a key site for the pi­lot­ing of China’s com­pre­hen­sive ma­rine in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment. It also hosts China’s ‘ma­rine science lab’ and the first high-speed rail­way in the Zhoushan ter­ri­tory. Upon com­ple­tion, the rail line will add a bril­liant fi­nal touch to a high-ef­fi­ciency trans­porta­tion labyrinth, turn­ing dreams into re­al­ity for the peo­ple of Ding­hai.

On the other side of the coast­line, con­struc­tion of a snaking green belt travers­ing five moun­tains (Dong­shan, Chang­gang­shan, Lei­gushan, Hais­han and Zhushan) has kicked off. The eco-trail will open a re­fresh­ing chap­ter in the ‘green life’ of all Ding­hai peo­ple who will be liv­ing in a ‘gar­den city on the sea’ in the true sense of the word in the not too dis­tant fu­ture.

Zhoushan’s eco­nom­i­cal po­ten­tial is un­par­al­leled, a view shared not only by all peo­ple in Zhoushan but by former Zhe­jiang Prov­ince Gov­er­nor and cur­rent Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping. The over-reach­ing aim is to re­store China’s ma­rine pros­per­ity, to in­vest and build up its in­fra­struc­ture and to turn China’s coastal re­gions into pow­er­houses of busi­ness, tourism and cul­ture. This ‘ma­rine dream’ – a dream shared by many other coastal cities in China – is part of an even larger dream dubbed ‘The Chi­nese Dream’, which, it is hoped, will turn into re­al­ity as the 21st cen­tury pro­gresses. China wishes to open it­self up to the world via its coastal re­gions, and nowhere is this more ev­i­dent than in Zhoushan.

Truth be told, one needs only to glance at the map to get a feel for this daz­zling ar­chi­pel­ago’s im­por­tance – to­po­graph­i­cally speak­ing – and to ride over one of its many bridges only serves to com­pound the hunch that this sleepy col­lec­tion of stun­ning fish­ing vil­lages and pris­tine beaches is some­what of a wolf in sheep’s cloth­ing. The is­land’s time is com­ing, and the time to in­vest, in­sid­ers would say, is most cer­tainly now.

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