In December, the State Council approved the 13th Five-Year Plan to structure the rise of Central China, to build the region into an advanced manufacturing center with key areas of new urbanization, modern agriculture, ecological civilization and support to the nation’s opening-up drive.
According to Wei Houkai, head of the Rural Development Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the central regions serve as hubs among the eastern, western, southern and northern regions, and are a joint point of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The rise of Central China will provide strategic support to the nation’s economic growth in the long run and the building of a well-off society in an all-round way, he said.
Chen Xueqin, a senior researcher from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said the rise of central regions should focus on industrial transfer and innovative development.
Meanwhile, the central regions should align themselves with the Yangtze River Economic Belt, pilot free trade zones, reform experimental zones and other key national strategies, she said.
Experts believe that urbanization of the central regions should focus on quality, with efforts made to build several city clusters and towns with local features, expanding new space for economic growth.
Statistics show that 50 million people moved into central cities from 2006 to 2015, bringing the urbanization rate from 36.5 percent to 51.2 percent.
The rise of Central China will see a faster growth rate, a growing position in the national development landscape and substantial progress in overall capacity and innovative ability, Wei said.