As Chinese President Xi Jinping has said the priority for the Xiongan New Area should be to pool non-capital functions from Beijing, a Chinese expert estimated that the capital could transfer around 300,000 to 500,000 people to the area.
A recent report published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences suggested that the Xiongan New Area, a new development area south of the capital, should keep its initial population within 1 million, and within 5 million in the long term.
The report said that the priority for the Xiongan New Area will be to serve as a new home for Beijing's "non-capital" functions. Therefore, the development of the area should avoid a surge in population and the "metropolitan disease" that afflicts Beijing.
It noted that majority of the people in the urban district of the new area will come from Beijing's universities, research institutes, public institutes or headquarters of enterprises.
Beijing unveiled Monday cooperation agreements with Hebei Province on the construction of the Xiongan New Area. Under the agreements, Beijing will support cooperation between Zhongguancun Science Park and Xiongan New Area to build a science park in Xiongan and accelerate the construction of transportation infrastructure between Beijing and the area, including a high-speed railway, intercity railway and expressway.
Li Guoping, head of the Beijing Development Institute with Peking University, said that currently, the transfer of the capital's population to the new area mainly depends on the government's efforts. Li estimated that around 300,000 to 500,000 people could be transferred to the new area.
During the annual"two sessions" in January 2016, then Beijing mayor Wang Anshun said that in the next five years, the capital will continue to relocate people from downtown areas to suburban areas, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
In 2015, Beijing had 21.7 million permanent residents. Beijing aims to limit its population within 22 million in 2016.
But Li said that, in fact, Beijing does not have a huge pressure for relocating its population and the problem lies in balancing its population in different districts.