Bei­jing ad­min­is­tra­tive bod­ies move to Tongzhou dis­trict

China’s new sub-cen­ter plans to boost re­gional devt

Global Times - Weekend - - TOPNEWS - By Li Xuan­min and Shen Wei­duo

“I’m ex­pect­ing the [sub-cen­ter of] Tongzhou dis­trict to be­come Bei­jing’s ‘Pudong New Area’ in the fu­ture,” a res­i­dent sur­named Yu said in an ex­cited voice.

Shang­hai’s Pudong New Area has wit­nessed an un­prece­dented eco­nomic boom since be­ing set up as a new zone of na­tional sig­nif­i­cance in 1990. The rapid eco­nomic rise has boosted Yu’s con­fi­dence as she wit­nessed a flag-rais­ing cer­e­mony on Fri­day, which cel­e­brated the four key mu­nic­i­pal or­gans of Bei­jing mov­ing their of­fices to Tongzhou dis­trict, mak­ing the eastern Bei­jing area a new mu­nic­i­pal ad­min­is­tra­tion cen­ter of the cap­i­tal.

This also marks a new era for the dis­trict, a 40-minute drive from down­town Bei­jing, to “be a green, smart, liv­able dis­trict with­out ‘ur­ban dis­ease’ that could be­come an ex­am­ple of the co­or­di­nated de­vel­op­ment of the Bei­jing-Tian­jin-He­bei re­gion,” Sui Zhen­jiang, vice mayor of Bei­jing, said at the press con­fer­ence on Fri­day.

More im­por­tantly, the sub-cen­ter is ex­pected to drive the growth of three neigh­bor­ing coun­ties – Sanhe, Dachang, Xianghe – in He­bei’s Lang­fang in North China. “There will be a uni­fied plan, uni­fied pol­icy and uni­fied stan­dard to man­age Tongzhou dis­trict and the three coun­ties in He­bei to pro­mote co­or­di­nated de­vel­op­ment,” Sui said.

The State Coun­cil, China’s cabi­net, ap­proved the plan for de­vel­op­ing a sub-cen­ter in Tongzhou on Jan­uary 3, 2019.

The sub-cen­ter, to which the Chi­nese cap­i­tal will move many of its func­tions, will re­ceive more govern­ment of­fices, uni­ver­si­ties and hos­pi­tals in the fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to the plan.

Res­i­dents like Yu were thrilled about the mov­ing of Bei­jing’s mu­nic­i­pal or­gans to the new sub-cen­ter. An­other res­i­dent sur­named Xing told the Global Times on Fri­day that the new ad­min­is­tra­tive cen­ter, seems like a new “Chang’an Av­enue.”

“It used to be a de­serted place ear­lier. It’s unbelievable,” Xing said.

A world model

Co­in­cid­ing with the ap­proval of Tongzhou as a sub-cen­ter, the State Coun­cil also gave the go-ahead on Jan­uary 2 to the 2018-2035 mas­ter plan for Xion­gan New Area in North China’s He­bei Prov­ince.

The area is about 100 kilo­me­ters south­west of Bei­jing.

Chen Gang, deputy gov­er­nor of He­bei Prov­ince and direc­tor of Xion­gan New Area Ad­min­is­tra­tive Com­mit­tee, said at the press con­fer­ence that so far a num­ber of ma­jor projects in line with the plan have been launched, in­clud­ing a rail link be­tween Bei­jing and Xion­gan.

China an­nounced the es­tab­lish­ment of the Xion­gan New Area on April 1, 2017, as part of mea­sures to trans­fer “non-cap­i­tal” func­tions out of Bei­jing.

Zhang Gui, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Bei­jing-Tian­jin-He­bei re­search cen­ter un­der the He­bei Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, told the Global Times on Fri­day that set­ting up Xion­gan goes be­yond trans­fer­ring “non-cap­i­tal” func­tions out of Bei­jing.

“It is also a way of show­ing China’s so­lu­tions to global prob­lems in ur­ban de­vel­op­ment, and will be a ‘tem­plate’ for other cities in China,” Zhang noted.

Of­fi­cials at the press con­fer­ence noted that Xion­gan New Area and Bei­jing’s sub-cen­ter in Tongzhou dis­trict will be built as two new ‘wings’ of Bei­jing, and pro­mote the co­or­di­nated de­vel­op­ment of the Bei­jing-Tian­jin-He­bei re­gion.

The year 2019 also marks the third year since China an­nounced its strat­egy to build the Yangtze River Eco­nomic Belt, a plan that marks China’s fur­ther ef­fort to bring coastal eco­nomic vi­tal­ity to in­land ar­eas, in a bid to boost the coun­try’s in­te­grated de­vel­op­ment.

In the fu­ture, the Bei­jing-Tian­jing-He­bei re­gion will serve as the po­lit­i­cal cen­ter, and play a sig­nif­i­cant part in re­la­tions with Ja­pan and South Korea, with China’s deep­en­ing ties with the two, and drive the coun­try’s growth to­gether with the two other eco­nomic belts, Cong Yi, a pro­fes­sor at the Tian­jin Uni­ver­sity of Fi­nance and Eco­nomics, told the Global Times on Fri­day.

Photo: IC

The new of­fice build­ing of Bei­jing’s mu­nic­i­pal govern­ment and the Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of China in Tongzhou. Four key mu­nic­i­pal or­gans of Bei­jing moved their of­fices to Tongzhou dis­trict on Fri­day.

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