Regional Development

Development of nation's central region in focus

Updated: Apr 13, 2024 By Wang Keju China Daily Print
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The State Council, China's Cabinet, explored ways on Friday to expedite the development of the country's central region.

The decisions adopted at the State Council executive meeting came after President Xi Jinping chaired a symposium on further energizing the central region in the new era, in Changsha, central China's Hunan province, on March 20.

China's central region encompasses the provinces of Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei and Hunan. Spanning about one-tenth of the nation's land area, the region accommodates around a quarter of the country's total population.

To support the central region in capitalizing on its advantageous geographical position and rich resources, the Friday meeting chaired by Premier Li Qiang stressed transforming it into a key driver for overall growth and enhanced competitiveness. More efforts should be made to push forward industrial innovation led by scientific and technological innovation, enhance regional coordination and collaboration, deepen reforms and expand openness.

Last year, the combined GDP of the central region reached 27 trillion yuan ($3.73 trillion), representing a 22 percent share of the national economy, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Notably, the central region is blessed with rich agricultural resources, resulting in a steady grain output of around 200 million metric tons in recent years, accounting for some 30 percent of the country's total production.

The region has emerged as a pivotal area for the country's new industrialization and urbanization efforts, presenting tremendous potential in expanding domestic demand and enhancing openness, said Xu Hongcai, deputy director of the China Association of Policy Science's Economic Policy Committee.

Meanwhile, the central region, strategically located at the crossroads of the east-west and north-south axes, should harness its geographical advantages and build itself into a key hub in the construction of a unified national market, Xu said.

Moreover, China is set to channel greater efforts on key sectors to advance energy efficiency and carbon reduction, aligning them with initiatives to expand effective investments, renovate old urban residential compounds, and upgrade equipment, the meeting said.

It was stressed at the meeting that China will remain committed to aligning its strategies with the country's unique realities. The country will follow a steady and cautious approach in determining the intensity and pace of its efforts, all while ensuring that energy needs for sustainable growth are adequately met.

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