Lawmakers from Liaoning province suggested at the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress, China's top legislature, that Dalian — already a major port city — should position its airport as a major international aviation hub.
An upgraded airport should emphasize service to Japan and the Republic of Korea, and airlines based in Dalian should be encouraged to use it as a transit point and to promote construction, the delegates wrote.
Dalian, which is located at the southernmost tip of the Liaodong Peninsula, is a major coastal city in Liaoning and an important link to northeastern Asia and countries and regions participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.
"Dalian is one of China's first coastal cities to open to the outside world. It has formed deep cooperative relations with Japan and the ROK and has basic advantages for development," the delegates wrote.
Since the beginning of China's reform and opening-up process, Japan has been Dalian's largest trading partner. The ROK is third-largest.
Building Dalian into an international aviation hub and enhancing the service level of the airport will help improve the city's business environment and promote the development of its modern service industries, such as finance, tourism, trade and logistics, they wrote.