Co-ordination key for Yangtze delta
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-24 05:14
The central government has been busy putting the final touches to a national
plan to improve co-ordination in developing the Yangtze River Delta.
The delta region, China's economic powerhouse, is expected to encounter
another spurt of fast development after the plan has been approved by the
National People's Congress.
"We are busy in drafting detailed measures to speed up development in the
region," said Shen Xujian, deputy regional development director under the
National Development and Reform Commission.
The final plan is scheduled to be finished next March, he said.
Shen said national co-ordination efforts in the region will be focused on
transportation, energy, land use, environmental protection, urban and industrial
planning, human resources development and international co-operation.
"The region's development needs united efforts," said Shen.
The Yangtze River Delta in East China and the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan
cluster have been chosen as two key regions to be targeted by the central
government's 11th Five-Year (2006-10) Economic and Social Development Plan.
The Pearl River Delta, South China's economic belt, was not included on the
Shen said the co-ordination plan will help speed up integration between
Shanghai and other cities in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. The region, with a
population of about 87 million, has contributed nearly 20 per cent of China's
Currently, the region is facing problems such as repetitive construction,
huge environmental pressure and a lack of unified planning for regional
Those problems can only be tackled with unified planning under the guidance
of scientific development principles, Shen said.
Environmental problems and the region's energy shortages are to be
highlighted in the coming plan.
Chen Qingtai, former deputy director of the Development Research Centre of
the State Council said the region must build up an efficient dialogue platform,
and an information communication channel, as well as a co-operative system to
achieve effective regional co-operation.
Chen said the regional environmental problems spread beyond administrative
boundaries and geographical frontiers. "The solution to cross-boundary
environmental problems relies on regional co-operation along the Yangtze River
Delta, one of China's most dynamic areas," he said.
Due to rapid economic development in the delta, which covers Shanghai and 15
other cities in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, shortages of natural resources
and worsening environmental conditions are become more and more obvious,
according to a report released by the United States Environmental Defence (EDF)
and Tsinghua University.
The worsening pollution of major rivers and lakes and atmospheric pollutants,
especially sulphur dioxide that causes acid rain, have become major
environmental problems in the region, according to the report.
(China Daily 10/24/2005 page3)