A joint administrative office for the Yangtze River Delta region will be established and a three-year plan regarding the integrated development of the region involving 26 cities will be formulated, a top Shanghai official said on Jan 24.
It signified that the integrated development of the region－Shanghai and most cities in neighboring Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces accounting for nearly 20 percent of China’s GDP and 10 percent of its population－will make substantial progress, and Shanghai will play a strategic role as a world-class core city, local political advisers said after listening to Li Qiang, secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, at their annual gathering on Jan 24.
“We have reached a point when the regional cooperation of the Yangtze River Delta region must be deepened comprehensively,” Li said.
“Globally, regional collaboration represents a general trend in the development of the world economy. In China, city agglomeration has become a central engine driving the country’s economic transformation and development,” he said.
Li said coordination and links in six areas－planning, reform, innovation, urban facilities, transportation networks and public services－will be key to pushing forward the integration of the region, which brings together the Belt and Road Initiative and the Yangtze River Economic Zone.
Tu Haiming, a member of the Shanghai People’s Political Consultative Conference, said as more urban agglomerations emerge in the world, the Yangtze River Delta region must compete globally as a team as it strives to become a world center for modern service and advanced manufacturing industries and an important gateway in the Asia-Pacific region.
“As Shanghai is on its way to becoming a center of international economy, finance, trade, shipping and technological innovation, regional integration can begin in these fields,” said Tu, who is also president of Shanghai Hodoor Real Estate Development Company.
Wang Jucheng, a political adviser, suggested the research, development and manufacture of new energy vehicles could promote regional integration.
“Both Shanghai and the three provinces have a good foundation in the automobile industry, and Shanghai has an absolute advantage in the country in technology breakthroughs and mass production in this field,” said Wang.
Li Ruxin, another political adviser and director of the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, suggested the large science facilities in Shanghai be shared by universities and research institutes in the Yangtze River Delta region, which boasts 74 key State-level laboratories, to facilitate the production of more cutting-edge technological achievements.”
I encourage the established large science facilities, such as the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility and the National Center for Protein Science, to be shared by experts outside of Shanghai,” he said.