New buildings in Huaxian county, Henan province. Urbanization will play an active role in keeping the country's investment and growth stable. (Photo/China Daily)
In the report he delivered to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Oct. 18, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed the importance of developing city clusters, coordinated regional development and urbanization. [Special coverage]
It means China's strategic planning has been upgraded from individual cities and provinces to world-class city clusters.
Urbanization has three manifestations: big cities with traffic congestion and environmental pollution; small towns with scattered population and poor employment opportunities; and city clusters－a combination of big cities and small towns, making the best of their different strengths.
In an ideal city cluster, big cities are connected with each other by inter-city railways, expressways and other transport means, which also connect them with nearby smaller towns.
China's urbanization is at a crucial juncture, and it now needs to focus on city clusters. The coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province is a national strategy that aims to create a world-class city cluster in North China. A series of reforms have been implemented, with more expected, so as to strengthen the coordination of local governments and provide integrated public services to local inhabitants.
China's high efficiency in decision-making and execution means it can mobilize the necessary resources in a short time to foster world-class city clusters.
Compared with the better-off Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta, where the coordination and integration levels are much higher, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, with a lot more difficult problems to be addressed, makes a better pilot zone for gaining invaluable experience for creating city-clusters elsewhere in the country.