Guidelines issued to regulate specialty towns

Updated 2017-12-07 09:32:58 Global Times/Agencies

Some projects seen increasing local gov't debt risks

Top central government bodies issued guidelines on Tuesday to regulate the development of "specialty towns" that have sprung up across the country, warning that the projects risk intensifying local government debt risks.

The government has actively promoted the development of "specialty towns" - hamlets of a few square kilometers dedicated to unique local industries ranging from eco-tourism to painting and pottery - in a bid to find cleaner and more sustainable growth outside major cities.

More than 400 locations have been approved as "specialty towns" by the housing ministry so far.

However, since the plan was launched, there have been cases of carrying out the plan "rashly" or "blindly" and "in some areas there are even the first signs of intensified risks to government debt," according to guidelines released by the National Development and Reform Commission, the State economic planner, as well as environmental, housing and land ministries.

To meet the requirements of the new guidelines, provincial governments must strengthen oversight of the projects and central government ministries will carry out checks on those towns that have been approved to weed out those deemed unfit, the ministries said in the guidelines.

They warned that some of the projects showed a tendency to focus on real estate development instead of cultivating industries, saying that the plan must avoid building a thousand towns that look the same.

State-owned enterprises and private companies should be the prime investors in the projects and the government should as much as possible avoid taking on new debt, they said.

China's regulators have tightened controls on local government debt to fend off financial risks, but the country has also sought to support the funding needs of private firms and keep liquidity conditions relatively fluid.

Projects must also not cross the "red line" of environmental protection and should strictly control the use of new construction land and avoid high energy consumption and highly polluting industries, according to the guidelines.

In addition, building specialty towns should be done in a way that involves real industrial innovation in line with the advantages of the region so as to avoid "wearing new shoes to walk an old street," the ministries said.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58October 21 2018 05:10:18

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16October 21 2018 05:10:18

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18October 21 2018 05:10:18

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords