China approves plan for Xiongan New Area southwest of Beijing

23/04/2018

Last weekend, Beijing and Hebei pledged their full support for the construction of the Xiongan New Area

 

High-quality development based on innovation and high-tech industries is the focal point of a newly released plan for the Xiongan New Area. Analysts say the plan will stimulate investment and accelerate the construction of transportation infrastructure linking the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster.

The recently published plan sets 38 key objectives for building Xiongan up as an area geared toward innovation, intelligent city planning, and a green environment for residents. The main objectives include the allotment of GDP compared to spending on research and development, the number of patents registered per every 10,000 people, the contribution of big data to urban management and the improvement of air quality.

For residents, the most appealing part of the plan may be the promotion of a pedestrian lifestyle. Chinese city planners seek to make everything accessible by 15 minutes by car or on foot. Last April, China announced the establishment of the Xiongan New Area, which will have “lasting significance for the next millennium” along with three counties in Hebei Province, southwest of central Beijing.

 

The project consists of transferring some functions of Beijing and strengthening the integration of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster

 

According to Zhang Zhongjie, the construction of Xiongan signifies the birth of an area of national importance along the lines of the Shenzhen special economic zone and the Shanghai-Pudong New Area. Construction will be accelerated after this year of planning, said Zhang, an analyst at Huajin Securities.

Bids on construction are relegated to transportation projects, including railways and highways, and are expected to start soon. Xiongan will not be transformed into a megalopolis – instead, urban construction will be managed in a condensed, orderly manner, according to a statement by the president of the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design to Xinhua News.

The new urban planning approach strives for a work-life balance for residents, Liu Guoqing, Chief Analyst at Pacific Securities said. The plan will stimulate investments up to 10 trillion yuan (US$1.58 trillion).

Investments in Xiongan should be at least comparable to the Tianjin New Area, which was founded in 2009 and has seen around 1 trillion yuan of investment per year over the past nine years, Liu said.

This year, 13 projects will be launched in the city, with an investment of over 60 billion yuan, as reported by the website thepaper.cn in Shanghai. One of these is the high-end Tsinghua University laboratory dedicated to national defense technologies.

In its first phase, innovation-based projects focusing on the use of big dataartificial intelligence, and biotechnology will be transferred from Beijing to Xiongan, according to the project. So far, the new area has more than 100 high-tech companies, attracting other companies driven by innovation.

Peng Weijun, an analyst at Essence Securities, said that despite setting the bar high, the Xiongan project will receive incredible amounts of support. The new project holds great potential for China to show that it’s capable of considering environmental protection, smart urban planning, and a burgeoning financial sector.

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