Interview: Xiong'an New Area a "miracle" for China, says Swiss executive

(Xinhua) 08:52, March 14, 2024

XIONG'AN, Hebei Province, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Xiong'an New area is a miracle for China, with the construction of such a big plan within such a short time almost unbelievable, a Swiss construction executive said Wednesday after his first visit to the area.

In April 2017, China announced a plan to establish the Xiong'an New Area, which spans the Rongcheng, Anxin and Xiongxian counties, as well as some adjacent areas in north China's Hebei Province.

The new area aims to relieve Beijing of non-essential functions related to its status as the nation's capital, while also advancing the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

"It's a miracle for me, as a Swiss citizen, to see such a construction site, such a city, which has been built in only seven years," said Diego Salmeron, board member of the Swiss Green Buildings Association, a Swiss non-profit organization, representing different Swiss companies in the planning and construction sector.

Salmeron was briefed about Xiong'an last year when a delegation from the Xiong'an administration visited Zurich, Switzerland, on the occasion of the Sino-Swiss Sustainability Forum organized by the Swiss-Chinese Association, a non-profit organization that aims to bridge the two countries in the areas such as science, culture and economy.

"I was very impressed by the presentations on the planning and development of Xiong'an New Area, so I decided to see it for real," he said.

After experiencing various presentations and site visits in Xiong'an on Wednesday, Salmeron said he was deeply impressed by the transportation projects, which include high-speed railways and relevant supporting facilities, stretching about 24.8 km in the start-up zone of the new area.

"I have seen many construction sites in China in the last 20 years, but this is probably one of the biggest I have seen so far," noted Salmeron, who is also the vice president of the Swiss-Chinese Association.

Salmeron was astonished by the green concept implemented in the new area, saying Xiong'an can be considered an urban laboratory where new innovative projects can be applied.

"I have learned that Xiong'an is already applying photovoltaic, geothermal and hydro power. Buildings follow the green building standards. Zero emission building standards are also being slowly applied," he said.

According to Salmeron, Sino-Swiss cooperation projects on zero-emission buildings are currently being carried out in some parts of China. "I think this is an area in which Switzerland has quite some know-how to share with Chinese partners, in terms of technology, conceptual approaches and different aspects of materials, energy, supply and mobility, smart grids and so on."

Salmeron is mulling organizing the Sino-Swiss Sustainability Forum in Xiong'an if possible and hopes to have closer cooperation with Xiong'an in the future.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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