After a signing ceremony and joint press conference on Dec 15, Premier Li Keqiang invited leaders who came to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) prime ministers’ meeting to take a walk along a lake in Zhengzhou, Henan province.
“This place used to be wasteland, with only some fishponds,” Premier Li said while introducing the surrounding modern buildings to SCO leaders. “The change shows that central and western China has great development potential. It also shows that urbanization is China’s biggest demand.”
The Premier said that currently only 50 percent of China’s population dwells in cities, while the rest lives in rural areas. The great urbanization demand is the driving force for economic development.
Standing along the lake at Zhengdong New District, Premier Li mentioned the argument about the city’s planning. “Some people doubted whether there will be people willing to move in. They doubted whether it will be an ‘empty city’. Now the place already houses over one million people.”
As of October 2015, the district had attracted 49 of the world’s top 500 enterprises and 68 of China’s top 500 enterprises; with fiscal revenue reaching 15.99 billion yuan ($2.48 billion). More importantly, Zhengdong New District has over 2,700 square meters of green land and over 1,100 square meters of ecological water system.
Such achievements won applause from the leaders of SCO member states. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told Premier Li that it was the first time he came here but the place left him with deep impression. “Congratulations on your great achievement,” Medvedev said. “I heard Premier Li used to work here for a long time. You made great contributions to the development of this place.”
The Premier noted that there is great potential in the cooperation of industrialization and urbanization among SCO members.