He Lifeng, vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and Zhuang Rongwen, vice director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, talked about the national plans to revitalize the country’s central regions and to speed up information development during the State Council policy briefing on Dec 9.
Revitalize central regions
China approved a five-year guideline on invigorating development of advanced manufacturing, modern agriculture, new type of urbanization and ecological conservation in six central provinces, during the State Council’s executive meeting on Dec 7.
According to He Lifeng, the past 10 years have seen remarkable achievements in the central regions. With an average annual GDP growth rate of 11.6 percent, 2.1 percentage points higher than the national average, the six central provinces’ GDP reached 14.7 trillion yuan in 2015. During the last decade, fixed-asset investment, retail sales of consumer goods and local fiscal revenue in the central regions have increased 7.7-fold, 3.7-fold and 7-fold, respectively.
The central regions have made great contributions to grain and energy supply, and hold advantages in information technology and infrastructure construction. There are more than 50 million new city-dwellers, with urbanization rate raised to 51.2 percent. People’s disposable incomes have increased, and 24.3 million people were lifted out of poverty, said He.
In addition, the central regions have made great progress in water governance and forest coverage. Also, total imports and exports reached $253.9 billion in 2015, 6.1 times more than in 2005. Transportation hubs have been developed, with cargo trains connecting China and Europe.
He said the new guideline is to help turn the central regions into hubs for major manufacturing industries, and key areas for new-type urbanization, modern agricultural development, ecological civilization construction, and national transferring of industries.
One of the main tasks is to promote coordinated development of the central regions. Efforts will be made to protect key ecological functional areas and major agricultural production regions, and speed up development of poverty-stricken areas.
Other tasks include promoting reform and innovation, building a modern industrial system, further developing agriculture, promoting urbanization and modern infrastructure construction, protecting eco-environment, improving people’s lives, and setting up new advantages for regional development, according to He.
Speed up information development
Zhuang Rongwen talked about the information plan during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) and answered related questions.
Since the 12th Five-Year Plan, China’s information infrastructure has seen a leap-forward growth, with a fledgling information industrial ecosystem, surging cyber economy, and enhanced network security guarantee. Currently, China leads the world in internet users, broadband access, output of information products, and trade volume of e-commerce, said Zhuang.
According to the national information plan, network security and information remains a key field during the 13th Five-Year Plan period, and more efforts should be made to tackle restrictions on incomplete technical and industrial ecosystems, low-level information utilization and public data sharing, and challenges in cyber security, according to the deputy director.
The plan was drafted and rolled out after taking into account the following aspects — new development concepts, international and domestic information trends, major national strategies and information development in different areas and departments across the country.
It includes six major development directions, 10 main tasks, 16 projects, 12 actions and six policies and measures, such as pushing innovation-driven development, building a modern information and technology industrial system, establishing a unified and open big data system, and promoting “internet Plus government services”.
During the next five years, “internet Plus”, big data, mass entrepreneurship and innovation, Made in China 2025, and integration of manufacturing and internet should be carried through in all major projects and tasks. Efforts should also be made to drive innovation, promote balanced growth, support low-carbon development, and prevent security risks.
Meanwhile, information infrastructure, rural poverty alleviation, public undertakings, environmental protection, and quality of life should be the priority of the national information drive, said Zhuang.