Beijing sub-center to pursue high-quality development

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Beijing's sub-center will aim to relieve Beijing's functions non-essential to its role as China's capital, and get more support in pursuing high-quality development, the city announced at a press conference on Wednesday.

The sub-center expects to develop as a green city, sponge city, and smart city by 2025, and a modern urban sub-center will basically be built by 2035, said Cong Liang, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission and vice chairman of the Office of the Leading Group for Coordinated Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Development. 

China's State Council recently released a guideline on promoting the high-quality development of Beijing's sub-center. According to the guideline, the area will have more functions and new residents moved from Beijing's previous administrative area. Oriented on reform and innovative progress, the sub-center will be granted more development power. The document also urges more efforts to promote the high-quality and coordinated development of Beijing's sub-center, Tongzhou district, and neighboring counties and cities in Hebei province.

The guideline also states that, in the sub-center, technology and innovation, administration, business services, culture and tourism will be more prioritized. Policies, measures, and pilot demonstration projects will also be carried out and tested in the sub-center. 

Cui Shuqiang, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee and executive vice mayor of the Beijing Municipal People's Government, said at the press conference that the newly opened Universal Beijing Resort is expected to see tens of millions of tourists a year. The theme park currently sits at 1.8 square kilometers, with plans to add another 2.2 square kilometers in the second phase of its construction. 

Cui said two out of seven hotels in the original plan of the Universal Beijing Resort have been built. Furthermore, an increasing number of visitors appear willing to spend several days in the park and choose to stay in the nearby areas, which has boosted homestay operations in the district and neighboring counties.

A unified development system to manage Tongzhou district and Hebei's Sanhe city, Dachang Hui autonomous county, and Xianghe county has been basically formed to promote the areas' coordinated development, said Hu Qisheng, vice governor of the People's Government of Hebei Province. Efforts have been made to improve the transportation network, public services, medical services, and environmental governance. A slew of cooperation projects for high-tech industries have been implemented in these counties.

Based on the role of Beijing's sub-center, Hebei will ramp up efforts to seek greater connectivity and complementarity between the sub-center and neighboring counties, and to prioritize the development of high-end services, culture and tourism, science and technological service, modern manufacturing, and ecological conservation, Hu said.

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