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Beijing and Tianjin offer support for areas at source of water diversion

China.org.cnUpdated: June 20, 2018

Water is the source of life, the foundation of ecological system, and a critical part of the manufacturing process. The South-to-North Water Diversion Project goes across mountains and rivers to act as a lifeline that transfers clear water from the Yangtze River to thousands of households in northern China, benefiting countless residents.

As of May 29, the central route of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project has transferred 14.4 billion cubic meters of water to the northern areas. A total of 42 million residents in Henan province, Hebei province, Tianjin and Beijing have benefited from it. Moreover, the project has indelibly contributed to the ecological protection and economic development of the areas along the route.

The residents benefiting from the project have been trying to express gratitude and return the favors, through facilitating the local development of provinces providing the water.

Cooperation among Nanyang, Beijing and Tianjin

On March 5, 2013, the State Council approved a targeted collaborative work plan for the Danjiangkou Reservoir, leading to the Zhongguancun Science and Technology Garden Management Committee and the municipal government of Nanyang to sign a deal the next month on April 27 to collaboratively build the Zhongguancun-Nanyang Science and Technology Industrial Park in Nanyang. The park was unveiled in November that year.

Since then, the industrial park has produced fruitful results. It worked with a Zhongguancun S&T service platform to build an "innovative space for startups" that covers 1,500 square meters. The startup space built by egu360.com in Nanyang has brought in 26 technological small- and medium-sized enterprises from Beijing. A technology transfer center from Zhongguangcun also set up a new branch in Nanyang to offer a platform that helps to commercialize science and technology achievements.

On the international cooperation front, a European industrial park of 3 square kilometers was built with combined efforts from several advanced European manufacturing companies, and another project of producing shock absorber for high speed train conducted by Way Assauto Corporate from Italy was also unveiled.

In addition, Nanyang has established a talent recruitment center in Tianjin with the support of its municipal government, aiming to leverage the talent pool in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Capital and projects from Beijing

As of May, Beijing has accumulatively invested 2,500 million yuan and launched 788 projects for areas at the source of the water diversion project, in order to help to protect water quality, alleviate poverty, enhance people's livelihood, and contribute to their industrial transformation.

Aside from investing directly in targeted measures for poverty alleviation, Beijing also broadened the channels for the water source areas to sell their specialty products to the capital. The city hosted an annual commodities fair over the past two years, which received warm market feedback, and helped to produce contracts worth in excess of 10 billion yuan on site.

Beijing has also helped to set up a partnership mechanism to pair up institutions from the capital and water source areas, such as elementary and secondary schools, vocational schools, hospitals and industrial parks. These collaborative partnerships are overseen by their respective counties, and each county could receive 150 million yuan in funding to foster local development.

Tianjin provides support in funding, ecological protection and education

Covering an area of 22,757.8 square meters, the library built in the new campus of Ankang Vocational Technical College is a clear evidence of Tianjin's strong support for water source areas.

Huang Xushan, an instructor at the college, said the new library not only meets the growing need of students, but also helps them form valuable friendships with Tianjin residents.

In 2014, Tianjin launched its targeted collaborative work plan of the upstream areas of the Danjiangkou Reservoir, add another three counties to the previous list of 28 receiving support from the city.

Also, the Tianjin government has formulated its plan to support the water source districts in Shaanxi Province, which involves a special funding of 1.5 billion yuan. In 2017, the city put 300 million yuan into 36 projects covering ecological environment construction, industry transformation and upgrading, social welfare, poverty alleviation, and economic and trade cooperation.

Tianjin is also reinforcing support for ecological protection and related industries and projects. In Hanzhong, the Tianjin government is helping to build an ecological park. Measures such as dredging the river way effectively restored the ecological balance in these areas and improved the water quality. In Shangluo, the authorities are monitoring the treatment of landfill leachate to make urban garbage hazard-free, hence further protecting the water quality at the source of Dan River.