In the latest move to facilitate the plan, the four key municipal organs of Beijing were officially moved to Tongzhou on Friday, which signaled that the southeastern Beijing district, about a 40-minute drive from downtown Beijing, has become the capital’s new administration center. The State Council, China’s cabinet, approved a plan for developing a sub-center in Tongzhou last week.
Sui Zhenjiang, vice mayor of Beijing, said at the press briefing on Friday that Tongzhou district is designed to “be a green, smart, livable district without ‘urban disease’ that could become an example of the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.”
Tongzhou’s population density is designed to be kept within 9,000 people per square kilometer, compared with 23,000 people per square kilometer in downtown Beijing.
More importantly, the sub-center is expected to drive the growth of the three neighboring counties – Sanhe, Dachang, Xianghe – in Hebei’s Langfang. “There will be a unified plan, unified policy and unified standard to manage Tongzhou district and the three counties in Hebei to promote coordinated development,” Sui said.
In addition to Tongzhou, the central government has also drawn up the blueprint and issued supporting policies for deepening the reform and opening-up for another “wing” – Xiongan New Area, Chen Gang, deputy governor of Hebei Province and director of Xiongan New Area Administrative Committee, said at the press briefing.
So far, a number of major projects that are in line with the plan have been launched, including a rail link between Beijing and Xiongan.
Apart from the approval of Tongzhou as the capital’s sub-center, the State Council also approved the 2018-2035 master plan for Xiongan New Area on January 2, highlighting high-quality development and the building of a modern economy.
“At the initial stage of China’s reform and opening-up, we built the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone to [showcase the vigor of the Chinese economy],” Chen said. As China enters a new period of high-quality growth, Xiongan could also demonstrate to the world the Chinese quality-driven growth model.