President Xi calls for more awareness of area's status, function during inspection tour
China has vowed to step up the integrated development of
the Yangtze River Delta in order to make the region become the
pacesetter of the new development pattern, with the domestic market
being the mainstay and the domestic and foreign markets complementing
During his inspection tour of Anhui province last week, President Xi
Jinping called for a stronger awareness of the status and function of
the delta－which involves Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces and
Shanghai municipality－in China's economic and social development in
order to promote the region's integrated development amid grave and
complex domestic and international circumstances.
Xi made the remarks while presiding over a symposium on advancing the
integrated development of the region in Hefei, the capital of Anhui.
The symposium was attended by Vice-Premier Han Zheng and other senior
officials of related departments from the central government as well as
related provincial-level officials.
Noting that the region should rise to be the trailblazer of China's
technological and industrial innovation, Xi said the entire delta region
should not only provide quality products but also serve as a source of
high-level technologies to support the country's high-quality
He underscored the need to make faster progress in developing the
region to a new height of reform and opening-up. Efforts should be made
to improve the business environment in line with world-class standards,
and attract talent and enterprises from home and abroad with a
development environment that has a high level of openness, services,
innovation and efficiency, Xi said.
The president also called for efforts to promote the facilitation of
trade and investment and strive to make the delta region an important
bridge between the international and domestic markets.
Xi's remarks came as the country is striving to accelerate the
establishment of a "dual circulation "development pattern, in which the
domestic economic cycle plays a leading role while the international
economic cycle is its extension and supplement. The development pattern
aims to cope with an external environment characterized by rising
protectionism, a global economic downturn and a shrinking international
China unveiled a plan for the integrated development of the delta in
December last year as part of its national strategies for integrated
regional development, which also involve integrated development of the
Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and the
Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The delta region, considered to be China's most vibrant area in terms
of technological innovation and economic development, has a built-in
advantage in advancing the new development pattern, since it boasts
abundant talent, strong manufacturing, well-developed industrial and
supply chains and vast market potential.
A draft of the spatial planning for the region's integration
demonstration zone, an area of 2,400 square kilometers at the border of
Shanghai municipality and Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, was published
on June 18 to seek opinions from the public.
It set out a blueprint for infrastructure construction, natural and
cultural heritage conservation, and transportation routes, as well as
industrial parks in the area by 2035. According to the plan, the area
will have a population of 3.8 million and generate 1.5 billion yuan
($216.8 million) in GDP per square kilometer per year.
Zhejiang, which boasts the nation's most vibrant private economy, is
planning to invest over 200 billion yuan in the construction of major
projects concerning the integration of the region this year.
Zhejiang should fully utilize its booming private sector, which
accounts for over 60 percent of its GDP, 70 percent of taxation and
exports, and 80 percent of its gross employment, in regional
integration, Weng Jianrong, deputy director of the Zhejiang Provincial
Development and Reform Commission, said in July.
Zhou Jun, Party secretary of the Hangzhou branch of internet giant
NetEase Inc, said Zhejiang should take full advantage of its strength in
the digital economy sector to construct a "Digital Yangtze River
Delta".During the speech at the symposium, Xi urged Jiangsu, Anhui,
Zhejiang and Shanghai to prioritize key areas and major fields including
integrated circuits, biomedicine and artificial intelligence, and he
called for efforts to foster the innovative development of micro, small
and medium-sized technology companies.
Zhang Mizhi, a research fellow at the Shanghai Institute for Science
of Science, said he believed more national-level strategic scientific
and technological forces and innovative resources will be deployed in
the delta region in the coming years.
With high-level manufacturing, strong consumption power and an
advanced export-oriented economy, the delta region will set an example
for the future development of other city clusters regarding the "dual
circulation "development pattern, he said.
"Anhui will strive to improve its innovative capacity and the
development of emerging industries, and become a demonstration area for
ecologically friendly development," said Zhong Lan, director of the
Anhui Provincial Development and Reform Commission's Office for
Integrated Development of the Yangtze River Delta.
"In the future, more infrastructure ... will be built to connect
cities in the region, and local people will be able to enjoy more shared
high-quality medical and educational resources," Zhong said.