Shenzhen City in south China's Guangdong Province is to build seven new towns outside its existing special economic zone (SEZ) in the next decade.
Shenzhen Mayor Yu Youjun said construction would start in the latter half of the year and hoped that the projected new satellite towns would take shape in three to five years.
Each new town would have its own distinctive architectural features and should be able to earn 10 billion yuan (about US$1.21 billion) in gross domestic product and one billion yuan (about US$121 million) in revenue.
The new towns would be constructed with infrastructure capable of sustaining 500,000 people, said Yu, adding the new towns would be connected by highways, railways, telecommunications and information networks.
Shenzhen SEZ, founded in 1980, is the earliest and most successful of the country's five special economic zones. It has an area of 327.5 sq km.
The economic miracle achieved in this special zone in Shenzhen, facing Hong Kong across a local river, over more than two decades has made it necessary to further expand the zone, said Mayor Yu.
(Xinhua News Agency April 27, 2002)