Progress seen in transfer of noncapital roles
Beijing - Breakthroughs have been achieved in developing the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and in relieving Beijing of functions nonessential to its role as the national capital, while the role of Xiong'an New Area will be better leveraged in pushing forward the process, an official and an expert said.
An unnamed official from the leading group for the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region said in an interview released by Xinhua News Agency on Friday that efforts to relieve Beijing of functions that are not essential to its role as the capital will move into a key stage, with central government departments and regions working in synergy to push the process forward. Xiong'an will enter a key stage in undertaking some of Beijing's noncapital roles, with structural improvement and construction of the area to be consolidated and improved.
The official said that the relocation to Xiong'an of universities and hospitals administered by Beijing-based ministries, as well as the headquarters of centrally administered State-owned enterprises, will be a priority from this year. The goal is for a batch of benchmark projects to be established during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, laying a solid foundation for long-term efforts.
The interview also revealed plans to improve policy incentives. Policies supporting relocation efforts, particularly in terms of education, health and medical care, social security and housing, will be specified. Such incentives will be put in place in a unit－and enterprise-specific manner, with more such policies in the pipeline. The official said that since the strategy of coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region was put in place, synergistic efforts had been made by various departments in limiting functions in Beijing that are not essential to its role as the national capital and relieving it of some of its existing functions in an orderly and proper manner to make progress.
Extreme caution has been exercised in adding any new roles for Beijing that are not essential to its role as China's capital, and stricter requirements have been put in place for the entry of new industries and investment projects. Some roles not essential to the capital have already been addressed in an orderly way, with Xinhua reporting that some 3,000 manufacturing businesses have been relocated since 2014.
The construction of new areas taking on functions from downtown Beijing has been accelerated. Construction of the Xiong'an New Area has been stepped up, along with the building of Beijing's new municipal administrative center in the city's Tongzhou district.
Liu Baokui, division director of the Institute of Spatial Planning and Regional Economy at the National Development and Reform Commission, said better leveraging the role of Xiong'an New Area is an important signal that the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region is moving into a new stage, with centrally administered institutes and enterprises now expected to play more important roles in relieving Beijing of functions that are not essential to its role as the capital.