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People's Daily Online>>China Politics

Xiamen sets example for reform

By Hu Meidong and Tan Zongyang (China Daily)

08:49, December 27, 2011

XIAMEN, Fujian - President Hu Jintao hailed Xiamen in East China's Fujian province as a window for China's reform and opening-up policies in the past three decades and encouraged the city to further strengthen ties with Taiwan.

"The Xiamen Special Economic Zone's reform has acted as a forerunner, which proves the central government's decision was 'absolutely right'," Hu said in a congratulatory letter to mark the city's 30 years anniversary as a vanguard in economic development.

Hu also said the coastal city viewing Taiwan across the sea will continue to play a significant role in strengthening economy, trade and peoples' exchanges with Taiwan.

Vice-Premier Wang Qishan read the letter at a celebration meeting in Xiamen on Monday.

Xiamen, a port city well known for its long history of outbound trade, is one of the earliest four special economic zones established in the 1980s. The other three are Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou in Guangdong province.

In 1981, the central government set a 2.5-square-kilometer area on Xiamen Island as a trial zone to offer preferential policies to attract foreign investment.

The special economic zone saw its first expansion to the entire Xiamen Island in 1984. The latest expansion in 2010 enlarged the zone to the whole city, which covers 1,569 square kilometers and is 12 times bigger than Xiamen Island.

The city has successfully maintained rapid economic growth. Statistics show its gross domestic product exceeded 200 billion yuan ($31.6 billion) in 2010, which represents an average annual growth over the last 30 years of 17.4 percent.

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