Screen capture of promotional video for the Xiongan New Area. Source: Miaopai
Screen capture of promotional video for the Xiongan New Area. Source: Miaopai
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Xiongan New Area will be the next Shenzhen, Pudong

A massive project is underway to redirect the non-government functions of Beijing to nearby Hebei Province

April 3, 2017 11:02 PM (UTC+8)

Remember the 130 million people megalopolis China is creating? On Saturday, Beijing announced the development of a key part of that initiative to link the cities of Beijing and Tianjin with Hebei Province, reports Shanghai Daily.

The development of the Xiongan New Area was compared in a government circular on Saturday to the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Pudong New Area in Shanghai.

Development will focus on providing high-quality public services and infrastructure, along with a new model of urban management, to attract private sector firms to relocate from Beijing.

This project is massive in scale and has long been a priority of President Xi Jinping and the central government. The president has said that the new development area is needed to siphon non-capital functions from Beijing. Leaders have tapped the Xiongan New Area to play that role and to relieve Beijing of problems that grow worse with each passing year.

Poor city planning along with the necessity in China for the corporations to maintain a close proximity to government officials has taxed Beijing for decades. As the problem has grown more severe, contributing to air pollution and weighing on the city’s transportation and health services, the country’s leaders have been eager to push some industries out of the city.

While the announcement called for a reasonable development pace, the project’s importance to Beijing means this will likely move forward quickly.

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