On April 1, the central government announced it would develop Xiongan New Area in Hebei province. The news has drawn wide public attention.
According to a circular issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, China's Cabinet, Xiongan New Area will be the third national special economic zone after Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and Shanghai Pudong New Area.
This new area will be an important part of the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
The move is a "major historic and strategic choice made by the CPC Central Committee", according to the circular.
Xiongan New Area is about 100 kilometers southwest of downtown Beijing, and is home to Baiyangdian, one of the largest freshwater wetlands in North China with more than 140 lakes covering 360 square kilometers.
The new area, which includes three counties of Xiongxian, Anxin and Rongcheng, will help phase out non-capital functions from Beijing and solve its big city problems such as traffic jam and air pollution.
It is expected to explore a new model of optimized development in densely-populated areas, and restructure the urban layout in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
At the early stage, the new area will cover about 100 square kilometers. And it will be further expanded to 200 square kilometers in the mid-term and about 2,000 square kilometers in the long-run.
According to He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, the government will speed up the drafting of a plan for building Xiongan New Area with international standards and Chinese characteristics.
(Source: China Daily)
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