City clusters to lift Yangtze economy

Updated: 2015-04-06 09:38


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Strategy will deepen reform, promote new type of urbanization

China unveiled a plan on Sunday to develop city clusters along the middle reaches of the Yangtze River in a move to create a new economic growth engine and promote new urbanization.

The plan envisions urban clusters around Wuhan in Hubei province, the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan city group in Hunan province and clusters around Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province, said the State Council, the nation's cabinet.

The clusters cover a total area of 317,000 sq km and are a pillar of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. They will also be key areas to implement the Rise of Central China strategy, deepen reform and opening-up and promote a new type of urbanization, the State Council said in a statement on the government website.

Priority will be given to coordinated development between urban and rural areas and connectivity of infrastructure, such as construction of important transportation, water conservation and energy projects, the statement said.

The Rise of Central China strategy emerged in 2004 amid efforts to achieve more balanced development. Last year, the nation began creating an economic belt along the Yangtze to promote better coordination in industrial development and more efficient allocation of resources among provincial regions traversed by the Yangtze, China's longest river.

Efforts will be made to make the most of each area's comparative industrial advantages, build competitive industry clusters, strengthen modern agricultural bases, promote industrial transfer among different areas, and speed up industrial upgrades, said the statement.

The plan comes as China works to facilitate economic upgrading and sustainable growth through urbanization.

Priority should also be given to coordinated efforts among different regions in environmental protection, educational cooperation, science, technology and medical services, and deepening reform and opening-up, it said.

The State Council urged local governments along the middle reaches of the Yangtze River to cooperate closely to carry out the plan.