To day, Ma'anshan city, with a population of 2.3 million people, comprises three county-level districts and three counties covering an area of 4,049 square kilometers. The city also administers one State-level economic and technological development zone, one national hightech industrial development zone and six provincial-level economic development zones. Its urbanization rate is 65 percent.
It has one of the best economic indexes - revenue and income of urban and rural people - in Anhui province. In 2016, the per capita GDP exceeded 60,000 yuan ($8,823), 25,000 yuan higher than the province's average, while the income of its urbanites and rural residents ranked first in Anhui.
At present, Ma'anshan has five characteristics.
Industrial robots produced in Ma'anshan receive visitors' attention during a demonstration in the city. Photos Provided to China Daily
First, it is an industrial city with a solid foundation, due to its steel output and on manufacturing industries. There are 1,132 largescale industrial enterprises - each with an annual business income of at least 20 million yuan, and nine listed companies with 10 stocks. It has a number of industrial clusters centering on steel, machinery, automobiles, electricity, petrochemicals, building materials, food and casting. Heavy industry accounts for 91 percent of its manufacturing industries.
Second, it is an innovative city full of vitality. It has six colleges and universities, three State-level science institutes, four State-level research centers, one State-level technology center, 10 major laboratories, and 10 postdoctoral research and development centers. Its number of scientific and technology professionals has reached 174,000.
Third, it has an excellent location. It is merely 28 km from Nanjing Lukou International Airport, which is about a 40-minute drive. A high-speed train from Ma'anshan to Nanjing takes only 20 minutes. Meanwhile, it takes around two and half hours to reach Shanghai and less than five hours to get to Beijing on a bullet train. A bridge across the Yangtze River opened to traffic on Dec 31, 2013 making traveling to and from neighboring cities much more convenient. Ma'anshan is also one of the 10 biggest ports on the Yangtze River.
Fourth, its cultural heritage has a long history. The Paleolithic site in Hexian county under Ma'anshan dates back some 300,000 or 400,000 years.
Fifth, it's a livable and civilized city with an excellent ecological environment. The city, which borders mountains, encircles numerous lakes and spans the Yangtze River, is a garden city surrounded by beautiful scenery.
Five steps for a common goal
With the implementation of the nation's Belt and Road Initiative, Ma'anshan has a rare opportunity for development.
During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period, the city is to build a well-off society in an allround way. To achieve this goal, Ma'anshan is strengthening economic, cultural and ecological fields of the city, while advancing the city through better innovation, and opening-up.
Innovation is to be the No 1 driving force in transforming and upgrading the city.
In opening-up, the city will be incorporated into nation's Belt and Road Initiative, the Yangtze River Economic Development Strategy, and the development of the Nanjing metropolitan area and Hefei metropolitan area, thus seeking development chances in markets and resources both at home and abroad.
To strengthen the city in the economic field, Ma'anshan is prioritizing advanced manufacturing as the foundation for the city and fostering strategic emerging industries and a modern service sector, thus ushering in an innovation-oriented modern industrial system.
To build a city with a vibrant culture, Ma'anshan is accelerating the development of cultural undertakings and cultural industries, building on its achievements as a National Civilized City to help residents improve their quality of life. To ensure Ma'anshan is a livable city with excellent ecological surroundings, it is fostering major ecological projects in a bid to improve the ecological environment, cultivate an ecological civilization and build a resource-saving and environment-friendly society.
Prioritizing seven key tasks
To fully accomplish the goals outlined above, Ma'anshan will prioritize the following seven key tasks.
Focus on promoting innovative development, and nurturing new growth drivers.
Focus on expanding openingup so as to seek new development vitality. Opening-up is the only way to expand the development space. Joining the Belt and Road Initiative. Always make attracting outside investment a key task, and encourage competent companies to "go global."
Promote the integration of urban and rural areas, in a bid to seek the unique charm of a livable city with excellent ecological surroundings. Build more high-speed railways and subways in the city.
Strengthen the perfection of democracy and the rule of law, so as to promote unity and harmony.
Strengthen cultural construction and set off a new upsurge in cultural development.
Strengthen social construction and management, and improve people's livelihoods, making people happier and more prosperous.
Strengthen the construction of an ecological civilization, so as to create a livable city with excellent ecological surroundings.
Office buildings at Youth E-ecommerce Industrial Park in Ma'snshan, which has a population of 2.3 million people.