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Implementing the Coordinated Regional Development Strategy

Submit Time:04-03-2018 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Wang Yiming | Source:China Economic Net

Abstract:

The report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping proceeds from the new trends of China’s regional development and the new requirements of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and embarking on a journey to fully build a modern socialist China, and clearly proposes that we should implement the coordinated regional development strategy. This is a new arrangement for China’s regional development in the period in which the timeframes of the two centenary goals converge and a guide to action for promoting coordinated regional development in the days to come. 

I. Fully Understanding the Important Significance of Implementing the Coordinated Regional Development Strategy in the New Era 

Implementing the coordinated regional development strategy is of important strategic significance to enhancing the coordination of China’s regional development, expanding the space for regional development, propelling the building of a modern economy and realizing the two centenary goals. 

(I) Implementing the coordinated regional development strategy is an important way to enhance the coordination of regional development. Great regional differences and unbalanced development are China’s basic national conditions. The regional development strategy is an important component of the economic and social development strategy. Since 1999, China gradually formed the overall regional development strategy of developing the western region, revitalizing the northeastern region, making the central region rise and giving priority to the eastern region. After the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core carried out overall internal and external planning, focused on the big picture, put forward the Belt and Road Initiative and the strategy of coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and development of the Yangtze Economic Belt, and propelled the formation of the new development pattern of all-directional vertical and horizontal interaction. The report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, according to the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society and on the basis of addressing development’s imbalances and inadequacies, puts forward the main tasks of implementing the coordinated regional development strategy in the days to come from an all-round and systematic perspective, focusing on enhancing the interaction and big picture of the regional strategy at all levels and making regional development more coordinated and holistic. It will certainly break new ground in China’s coordinated regional development. 

 (II) Implementing the coordinated regional development strategy is an internal requirement of expanding the space for regional development. With the building of large-scale infrastructures, especially the high-speed railway network and telecommunication network, China’s international connectivity has reached an unprecedented level, creating conditions for forming the new regional development pattern of all-directional vertical and horizontal interaction. Propelled by faster urbanization, city clusters and metropolitan regions play an increasingly important role in economic and social development. Meanwhile, with the rapid development of the marine economy, the importance of expanding blue economic space is increasingly prominent. We should implement the coordinated regional development strategy, include regions of different types with different functions such as urban and rural areas and land and sea areas into overall planning and arrangement at the level of natural strategy, and promote regional interaction, urban-rural linkage and overall planning of land and sea areas. This is of major strategic significance to improving the spatial structure and expanding the space for regional development. 

 (III) Implementing the coordinated regional development strategy is an important support for the building of a modern economy. The regional economy is an important component of the national economy. China’s economy has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development. Regional economic development must accelerate the pace of transforming our growth model, improving our economic structure and fostering new drivers of growth. We should implement the coordinated regional development strategy, bring the comparative advantages of various regions into full play and deepen interregional division of work; promote orderly free flow of factors and make spatial allocation of resources more efficient; shorten basic public service gaps so that people in all regions can enjoy equal basic public services; propel various regions to develop according to their main functional orientations, promote spatial balance among the population, economy, resources and environment and thus achieve better quality, more efficient, fairer and more sustainable development of various regions, which will play an important supporting role in improving the quality and efficiency of China’s economic development and building a modern economy. 

 (IV) Implementing the coordinated regional development strategy is a major initiative for realizing the two centenary goals. The years to come will be a critical period of realizing the first centenary goal and marching towards the second one. To finish the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, we should focus on priorities, address inadequacies and shore up points of weakness. We should implement the coordinated regional development strategy, closely focus on the priority of contiguous areas with particular difficulties and the inadequacy of rural people in poverty, resolutely take tough steps of targeted poverty alleviation and ensure that by the year 2020, all rural residents living below the current poverty line will have been out of poverty, and poverty is eliminated in all poor counties and regions. This is a major strategic initiative to let people and regions in poverty enter a moderately prosperous society in all respects together with all the people. To finish the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and embark on a journey to fully build a modern socialist China by 2020, we should continue to implement the coordinated regional development strategy, propel various regions to promote modernization through joint efforts and strive to realize common prosperity for everyone. 

II. Various Tasks of Fully Implementing the Coordinated Regional Development Strategy 

The report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China clearly puts forward the main tasks and strategic orientations of the coordinated regional development strategy. We should closely focus on the core goal of coordinated regional development and complete various tasks. 

(I) We should devote more energy to speeding up the development of old revolutionary base areas, areas with large ethnic minority populations, border areas and poor areas, which are special areas with difficulties in China. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core has adopted a series of initiatives to promote the fight against poverty in poor areas, support old revolutionary base areas’ development, promote healthy development of areas with large ethnic minority populations and promote development and opening up of border areas, and these areas have changed in ways without precedent. The report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China further gives priority to old revolutionary base areas, areas with large ethnic minority populations, border areas and poor areas in the coordinated regional development strategy, showing the CPC Central Committee is determined to accelerate these areas’ development. We should give greater support to improvement of infrastructural conditions in old revolutionary base areas, areas with large ethnic minority populations, border areas and poor areas, enhance their ability to provide basic public services, foster and develop advantageous industries and characteristic economies, improve ecology and environment and really create conditions for old revolutionary base areas, areas with large ethnic minority populations, border areas and poor areas to accelerate development. It needs to be pointed out that China borders on 14 countries with 22,000 kilometers of land border lines. With faster promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative, border areas are increasingly important in the layout of regional development. We should accelerate border areas’ development, raise the level of border areas’ development and opening up, enhance the building of community governance ability in border areas, consolidate and develop the cause of ethnic unity and progress and ensure solidarity and safety in border areas. 

(II) We should strengthen measures to reach a new stage in the large-scale development of the western region. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Yangtze Economic Belt’s development has enhanced economic ties between the western and coastal regions and expanded space for the western region’s opening up. In propelling the large-scale development of the western region in the years to come, we should give full play to the Belt and Road Initiative’s guiding and leading role, make greater efforts for the western region’s opening up, accelerate the building of passages linking China and foreign countries and regional hubs, improve the infrastructural network and raise the level of opening up and export-oriented economic development. We should accelerate the fostering and development of characteristic industries and emerging industries in line with the western region’s comparative advantages and enhance its industrial competitiveness. We should strengthen ecological and environmental protection and consolidate China’s shields for ecological security. 

(III) We should deepen reform to accelerate the revitalization of old industrial bases in the northeast and other parts of the country. After the strategy of revitalizing old industrial bases in the northeast and other parts of the country was implemented, the northeast region’s economic development reached a new level. In recent years, affected by underlying systematic factors, the northeast region’s development faced new difficulties and challenges. To accelerate the revitalization of old industrial bases in the northeast and other parts of the country, we must look for ways to deepen reform, accelerate transformation of the government’s functions and reduce the government’s unreasonable intervention in market players. We should further reform of state-owned enterprises, really establish their status of market players and enhance their market competitiveness. We should actively improve the business environment and expedite development of the private sector. We should further expand opening up, promote constant deepening of reform through opening up, accelerate formation of systems and mechanisms full of vitality and help the northeast make new breakthroughs in its revitalization. 

(IV) We should help the central region rise by tapping into local strengths. The central region has the locational condition of linking the east and west and the advantage of a relatively complete industrial system. To help the central region rise, we should further tap their comparative advantages, strengthen the building of comprehensive three-dimensional transportation hubs and logistics facilities, develop multimodal transportation and establish a modern comprehensive transport system and logistics system. We should accelerate the building of a modern industrial system, rely on functional platforms to take over transferred industries, develop modern agriculture, advanced manufacturing and strategic emerging industries and foster a number of industrial clusters with international competitiveness. WE should expedite development of the open inland economy, fully take part in the Belt and Road Initiative and actively carry out international production capacity and equipment manufacturing cooperation. 

(V) We should support the eastern region in taking the lead in pursuing optimal development through innovation. The eastern region is a pioneering region for China’s economic development, playing an important role in driving nationwide economic growth and facilitating the development of surrounding areas. To realize modern development first, the eastern region must take the lead in innovation to make breakthroughs, fully tap and expand the special advantage of clustering factors necessary for innovation and build an internationally influential center of innovation. The eastern region should realize industrial upgrading first, guide the development of emerging industries and modern service sectors and create world-class manufacturing centers. The eastern region should accelerate the establishment of fully open economic systems, participate in international cooperation and competition on a higher level and create new advantages of opening up. 

(VI) We should relieve Beijing of functions nonessential to its role as the capital and use this effort to drive the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The core of driving the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region is relieving Beijing of functions nonessential to its role as the capital, and the foundation is improving mechanisms for the whole region’s coordinated development and blaze a new trail for addressing “big city disease” with Chinese characteristics. We should accelerate the building of the sub-center of Beijing and optimize its spatial layout and functional orientation. We should make efforts to achieve breakthroughs in the three key fields of transport, ecology and industry first, build an integrated modern transport network, expand environmental capacity and ecological space, optimize the industrial layout and build the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region into a collaborative innovation community. Planning and building the Xiong’an New Area is a major decision and arrangement of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core for implementing the strategy of coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in depth and actively and orderly relieving Beijing of functions nonessential to its role as the capital. We should stick to the ideas of “global visions, international standards, Chinese characteristics and high positions”, develop forward-looking plans and adopt high standards for building the Xiong’an New Area and try to build it into a demonstration area for innovative development applying a new vision of development. 

(VII) We should facilitate the development of the Yangtze Economic Belt by promoting well-coordinated environmental conservation and avoiding excessive development. The Yangtze Economic Belt traversing the east and west, linking the south and north and reaching rivers and the sea is the economic axis with the highest demographic, economic and industrial density in China. In recent years, with more intense development, the Yangtze Economic Belt’s ecological and environmental situation was increasingly daunting. We must give top priority to restoring the Yangtze River’s ecological environment, promoting well-coordinated environmental conservation and avoiding excessive development, implement ecological implement major ecological protection and restoration projects such as the Yangtze River forest shelterbelt and build a green ecological corridor along the river. On this basis, we should rely on smooth traffic flow on the golden waterway to build a high-quality comprehensive three-dimensional transportation corridor, promote industrial transformation and upgrading and new urbanization, optimize the layout of industries and towns along the river and realize interactive cooperation and coordinated development of the upper, middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. 

(VIII) We should pursue coordinated land and marine development and step up efforts to build China into a strong maritime country. China is a major maritime country, and seas play a very important role in China’s overall development and opening up. We must pursue coordinated land and marine development, and step up efforts to build China into a strong maritime country. We should accelerate the development of the maritime economy, optimize the structure of the maritime industry, turn the maritime industry into a pillar industry and lay a solid foundation for building China into a strong maritime country. We should implement comprehensive management based on the maritime ecological system in depth and strengthen management of coastal belt and shore protection and development. We should maintain and expand China’s maritime interests through making overall plans and using various means and maintain freedom of maritime navigation and safety of maritime passages on the sea areas under China’s jurisdiction. 

III. Propelling the Formation of the New Pattern of New Urbanization 

The report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China further sets forth the key tasks of implementing the new urbanization strategy and propelling the formation of the new urban development layout at the level of the national strategy of promoting coordinated regional development. 

(I) We should create networks of cities and towns based on city clusters, enabling the coordinated development of cities of different sizes and small towns. City clusters are important poles of growth for China’s economic development. According to the requirements of improving city clusters in the eastern region and fostering and developing city clusters in the central and western regions, we should continue to accelerate the building of city clusters in the Yangtze River Delta region, the Pearl River Delta region, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Chengdu-Chongqing region, the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, the central plains region, the Harbin-Changchun region and the Beibu Bay region and form a number of city clusters to participate in international cooperation and competition and promote balanced development of land and space and coordinated regional development. We should enhance big cities’ role in facilitating the development of surrounding medium and small cities and gradually form a development pattern featuring horizontal mutually complementary development and vertical division of work and collaboration. We should improve coordination mechanisms for city clusters, accelerate the building of intercity rapid transport systems, promote coordination and interaction among intercity division of industrial work, infrastructure, ecological protection and environmental governance and quicken the formation of a development pattern featuring coordinated development of big, medium and small cities and small towns. 

(II) We should speed up work on granting permanent urban residency to people who move from rural to urban areas. After the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the CPC Central Committee put forward the goal of giving urban residency to 100 million rural residents and promulgated measures to promote the reform of the household registration system and implement the residence card system. As of the end of 2016, registered permanent urban residents accounted for 41.2% of the total population and permanent urban residents accounted for 57.4% of the total population, 5.9 and 4.8 percentage points higher than the end of 2012. In the days to come, we should speed up work on granting permanent urban residency to people who move from rural to urban areas by deepening the reform of the household registration system, lowering household registration thresholds and expanding household registration channels and ensure that registered permanent urban residents will account for about 45% of the total population by 2020. We should realize full coverage of the residence card system and encourage various areas to expand the scope of public services for residence card holders and raise service standards. We should establish and improve the mechanism linking the transfer payments a local government receives to the number of former rural residents granted urban residency in its jurisdiction, the mechanism linking increases in the amount of land designated for urban development in a locality to the number of former rural residents registered as permanent residents there, the mechanism linking investment arrangements for a locality to the number of former rural residents employed there and the mechanism of sharing the cost of granting urban residency to former rural residents. 

IV. Putting in Place New, Effective Mechanisms to Ensure Coordinated Development of Different Regions 

The report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China emphasizes that we need to put in place new, effective mechanisms to ensure coordinated development of different regions. The key to promoting coordinated regional development and improving the coordination, linkage and integrity of regional development is in-depth reform and innovation in systems and mechanisms. 

(I) We should give full play to market mechanisms’ role. We should sort through and do away with regulations and practices that impede the development of a unified market and fair competition, eliminate various explicit and implicit market barriers, promote orderly free flow of production factors across regions, improve the efficiency and fairness of resource allocation and move faster to establish a unified, open, competitive, and orderly market system. 

(II) We should carry out innovation in regional cooperation mechanisms. According to the principles of drawing on each other’s strengths and achieving win-win situations, we should support regional cooperation at multiple levels in multiple forms and fields, support cross-regional industry transfer and joint establishment of industrial parks and encourage innovation in regional cooperation’s organizational support, planning linkage, interest coordination, incentive restraint, fund contribution, information sharing, policy coordination and dispute resolution mechanisms. 

(III) We should improve regional mutual assistance mechanisms. We should improve the system of pairing assistance from developed regions to underdeveloped regions, carry out innovation in modes of assistance, enhance assistance through education, science and technology, talents, etc., improve underdeveloped regions’ self-development ability and promote the transition of pairing assistance from mainly benefiting one side to benefiting both sides. 

(IV) We should establish and improve interregional compensation mechanisms. We should establish and improve compensation mechanisms for ecological protection in the upper, middle and lower reaches of the river, rely on key ecological functional areas to build ecological compensation demonstration areas, improve interest compensation mechanisms for resource-extracting areas and resource-utilizing areas, enhance transfer payments to main agricultural production areas and key ecological functional areas and promote interregional interest coordination and balance. 


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