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1st Ld-Writethru-China Focus: Guideline on regional cooperation and growth in Bohai Rim

Xinhua, September 27, 2015 Adjust font size:

China's State Council on Sunday published a guideline on the cooperation and development of areas around the Bohai Rim, a major step forward in its national-development strategy.

The Bohai Rim connects China's northern, northeastern and northwestern regions, including Beijing, Tianjin Municipality, Hebei, Liaoning, Shandong, Shanxi provinces and Inner Mongolia. The Rim links sea with the continent, and features rich natural resources and solid industrial foundation.

The guideline called for major infrastructure be built to establish inter-regional transportation, energy, water resources and information networks.

The areas should collaborate on pollution and environment projects and policies, with a firm focus on building an ecological safety barrier, preventing air pollution and improving the nearshore marine environment, according to the guideline.

Industrial cooperation was also highlighted, as it would relieve Beijing of its non-essential functions, the guideline said, adding that local governments must continue with upgrading and transformation of industry.

The guideline also urged the region to further open up to the world, and utilize its geographical advantages. The region has been identified as one of the country's economic growth poles, playing an important strategic role in China's opening up and modernization drive.

A consolidated and improved market system within the region should be established, the guideline said, and reform measures should continue to give the market the authority to allocate resources.

The guideline also stressed the importance of the integrated development of urban and rural areas. Public services should be fairly distributed, it said, so that the region establishes itself as a demonstration zone for a stable and harmonious society.

A coordination mechanism, led by Beijing, to organize all the regions should be finalized soon, the guideline urged. The mechanism should outline favorable policies and ensure a sound institutional environment for development.

Besides the latest regional strategy on the Bohai Rim, China has also revealed another guideline on the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, to reshape the densely populated region.

By 2017, transportation integration, environmental protection and industrial upgrading will have been achieved in the integrated region, said the office of a leading group for the strategy last month. Unified markets in financial services, land resources, technology and information will also be promoted.

The guideline also relates to the "Belt and Road" initiative, proposed by China in 2013 as a trade and infrastructure network, according to the State Council.

The initiative will connect Asia, to Europe and Africa through the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and promote economic prosperity and regional economic cooperation, and enhance exchanges.

The Silk Road Economic Belt stretches northwest from China's coast through Central Asia, the Middle East and on to Europe while the maritime Silk Road runs through the country's south to Southeast Asia. Endi