The integration of the Yangtze River Delta, a major national strategy that was personally planned and promoted by General Secretary Xi Jinping, is in full progress, said Zhao Jiaming, spokesman of the Shanghai delegation to the ongoing 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at a news conference on Tuesday night.
"Over the past four years, Shanghai has worked with the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui and made several signature achievements for the integrated development of the delta region," said Zhao, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Municipal Party Committee and head of the publicity department.
"For example, the 78 institutional innovation tasks specified in the overall plan for the Lin-gang New Area of the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Pilot Zone have been completed," Zhao said. "The construction of a scientific and technological innovation community in the Yangtze River Delta has been successfully launched, and a number of key core technology research projects have achieved important results."
Several projects, including an intercity railway linking Shanghai, Suzhou of Jiangsu province and Jiaxing of Zhejiang province, have also been launched to improve infrastructure connectivity in the region, Zhao added.
A new medical insurance card, which allows people to make direct settlements at outpatient clinics regardless of where they are in the region, is another major achievement due to regional integration in the past four years.
"More people are saying the development of the Yangtze River Delta is getting faster and life is getting better," Zhao noted.
He pointed out that Shanghai will continue to be proactive in providing more services and cooperating with the three provinces in the region to further the in-depth integration of the Yangtze River Delta.
The Yangtze River Delta region, which comprises Shanghai and Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, contributed to almost a quarter of China's total economic output.
In November 2018, the integration of the YRD was elevated into a national strategy that aims to unleash greater vitality in the region.
Eighty-eight institutional innovations promoting the region's integrated development have been formed since 2020, according to the authorities.
Thirty-eight innovative policies have also been designated as model practices and introduced to other parts of the country, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, to enhance their integrated development, said the authorities.