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China searches for its most beautiful towns

Xinhua, December 26, 2014 Adjust font size:

Four cities in northeast China's Jilin Province joined a nationwide search for the best urbanization achievements.

Officials from the four candidate cities, Jilin, Meihekou, Ji'an and Yanji each presented their success stories at a seminar in the provincial capital Changchun on Thursday.

The search began in August in the eastern coastal Zhejiang Province, which also has four candidate towns.

One of China's old industrial bases, Jilin achieved an urbanization rate of 54.2 percent in 2013, slightly higher than the national average.

Industry upgrades relying on innovation should be a "locomotive" of urbanization, said Zhang Chaowei, deputy head of the Institute of Modern Urban-Rural Development Planning under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Wang Yuhai, professor of resources science and technology at Beijing Normal University, said building a new town should underline the advantages and distinctiveness of industry for its own beauty.

To preserve the good natural environment, it is necessary for the northeastern localities to jointly set strategic goals and policies in regional environment protection, said Yin Chengzhi, associate professor of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University, at the seminar.

The event, "Beautiful China. Looking for most beautiful towns", was initiated by China's Xinhua News Agency. Academics will evaluate 90 towns and cities across the country.

More than 30 million people have taken part by posting pictures of their hometowns online.

In March, China unveiled the National New-type Urbanization Plan (2014-2020) to steer urbanization onto a human-centered and environmentally friendly path.

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