An aerial photo of Rongcheng county, north China's Hebei Province. Photo: Xinhua
International experts and media reports say China's new economic zone will help relieve the burdens of Beijing as a metropolis, promote regional coordinated development and create a new growth pole for China, setting an example for developing economies.
China announced on Saturday that it would establish the Xiongan New Area in North China's Hebei province, as part of measures to advance the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
Bambang Suryono, an Indonesian scholar and president of the Jakarta-based Nanyang ASEAN Foundation, said Beijing, a megalopolis with a history as capital of more than 800 years, is facing such "urban ills" as traffic jams that plague big cities.
Setting up the Xiongan New Area to build a creative and livable city will help ease Beijing's urban burdens, Suryono said.
The establishment of the Xiongan New Area is "the latest step in China's efforts to cure severe ‘urban ills', such as traffic congestion and air pollution in Beijing by curbing the capital's population growth and moving certain nonessential facilities, including manufacturing and logistics, to nearby regions," says a report from Press Trust of India.
Authorities intend to transform the region into a new growth pole, it said.
Ronnie Lins, CEO of Center China Brazil: Research & Business, said that avoiding over-development of mega cities is a common issue facing all developing countries.
The Chinese government is exploring new development models for big cities, diversifying their functions and easing their burdens, which will solve environmental issues, promote development of surrounding areas and provide references for other developing countries, Lins said.
Zhu Zhiqun, a political science professor at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania in the United States, said the establishment of the Xiongan New Area is an important measure that will greatly influence China's future development.
Zhu also said he believed Xiongan will make the integrated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region come true and promote the rapid and comprehensive development of North China.
China's current development should focus on quality, Zhu said, adding that Xiongan aims to see green, creative, high-quality and high-end development, which will become a role model for other regions in the country.
Huang Bin, a researcher at Thailand's Kasikorn Research Center, said setting up the Xiongan New Area is an important and strategic plan of the Chinese leadership.
The new economic zone and Beijing and the port city of Tianjin, with their diversified and complementary functions, form a "triangle" that will open a new space for the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and North China and will explore a completely new model for China's urban development, Huang said.
The Xiongan New Area, along with other new economic areas, special economic zones and free trade zones in China, "will greatly contribute to the balanced development of the economy", South Korea's Asia Today said in a report on its website.
The report said the zone will also create "the necessary power" to promote the China-led Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.
Suryono, the Indonesian scholar, said establishing the Xiongan New Area forms an important part of China's strategy to further its reform and deal with the problems that have emerged during the rapid development of the nation's economy.