China will seek to revive the sluggish economy of its northeastern provinces through building linkages with some provinces in East China where economy is more developed, according to a plan issued on Friday by the State Council, the country's cabinet.
Economic partnerships will be formed between Northeast China's Liaoning Province and East China's Jiangsu Province, Northeast China's Jilin Province and East China's Zhejiang Province and Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province and South China's Guangdong Province, the document said.
The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is also being encouraged to explore counterpart cooperation with eastern provinces, the document noted.
The work plan specifies 18 tasks in four areas of cooperation: innovative mechanisms, industry cooperation, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, and platform establishment. It aims to launch landmark cross-regional cooperation projects by 2020.
Developing counterpart cooperation is an important way to rejuvenate Northeast China and other old industrial bases, and doing so will provide a critical approach for the integration between the revival of Northeast China and other three strategic programs including the One Belt and the One Road initiative, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei integration, and the Yangtze Economic Belt, the plan stressed.
In 2016, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong and Zhejiang provinces ranked the top four in provincial GDP, according to reports by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Northeast China posted flat growth or even contraction. For example, Liaoning Province reported a 2.5 percent decline in GDP in 2016 compared with 2015.