President Xi urges Hebei to advance innovation

Chinese President Xi Jinping learns about the cultivation of crops tolerant of drought and alkalinity in a wheat field in Cangzhou, north China's Hebei province, May 11, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

President Xi Jinping on Friday stressed the importance of further promoting the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region with greater efforts and determination and developing the region into an exemplary case of advancing the Chinese path to modernization.

Speaking at a symposium in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said it has been proved that the central Party leadership's major strategy for the region's development is suited to the needs of China's high-quality development in the new era.

He urged Hebei province to promote innovation-driven development, fully take on its responsibilities in coordinating the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, make breakthroughs in the transition to green development, and cultivate new strengths in deepening reform and opening-up.

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In early 2014, China initiated a key strategy to coordinate the development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei to create a model with a better economic structure, cleaner environment, and improved public services.

The ultimate purpose of promoting the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region is to improve people's well-being and facilitate common prosperity, said Xi

The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, consisting of Hebei province and the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin, is located in northern China with a total area of about 218,000 square kilometers.

Last year, the total economy of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei surpassed 10 trillion yuan ($1.44 trillion), according to the Beijing Bureau of Statistics.

Since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2017, the region has witnessed remarkable progress in its coordinated development and the construction of the two new "wings" of Beijing has accelerated, Xi said.

The Beijing municipal administrative center in Tongzhou district and Xiong'an New Area in Hebei province, known as the two new "wings" of Beijing, have been established to boost the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region through relieving Beijing of functions not essential to its role as the nation's capital.

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Xi urged efforts to accelerate the relocation of the second group of Beijing-administered government departments, enterprises and public institutions to Tongzhou. The vacated space will be used for better serving Beijing's core role as the capital, he said.

Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei are among the major driving forces of the country's high-quality growth and are home to numerous first-class universities and talented people for high-end research, said Xi.

It is necessary to strengthen innovation and industrial coordination in the region in order to play an exemplary role in realizing great self-reliance and strength in science and technology, he said.

Xi said that the ultimate purpose of promoting the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region is to improve people's well-being and facilitate common prosperity. Work must be done in resolving problems that are of the most direct concern to the people to ensure they have a sense of fulfillment, happiness and security, he said.

He also urged greater efforts to promote cooperation and sharing among Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei in terms of public services, basic educational resources and elder care services.

According to Xi, Beijing and Tianjin must expand their in-depth cooperation in a broader way and jointly work toward new heights in regional development.

The two cities are encouraged to combine their strengths in sci-tech innovation and advanced manufacturing R&D to make breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields, he said, noting that Beijing and Tianjin should help some areas in Hebei to better accommodate industries transferred from the two cities.

Xi also called for further efforts to promote the reform of mechanisms and institutions as well as opening-up, improve the business environment and better coordinate with other areas in China and abroad, thus developing the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region into a highland of opening-up.

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The symposium was held after Xi made an inspection tour in Hebei from Thursday to Friday that took him to a village, a port and a research institute.

Premier Li Qiang, Cai Qi, who is director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, and Vice-Premier Ding Xuexiang attended the symposium. Li, Cai and Ding are all members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.