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Xi calls for solid efforts to further development of central region
2024.03.22 / Source: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, chairs a symposium on further energizing the central region in the new era in Changsha, central China's Hunan Province, March 20, 2024. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

CHANGSHA, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for solid efforts to further energize the central region at a higher starting point. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while chairing a symposium on furthering the development of the central region in the new era. The symposium was held in Changsha, Central China's Hunan province. Xi delivered an important speech. Xi highlighted the central region's pivotal role as an important base for the country's grain production, energy and raw materials, modern equipment manufacturing and high-tech industry, and a comprehensive transportation hub. Xi called for synergy in promoting high-quality development and writing a new chapter in energizing the central region in the process of advancing Chinese modernization by consistently implementing a series of policies made by the CPC Central Committee in this regard.

Li Qiang, premier, Cai Qi, director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, and Ding Xuexiang, vice premier, attended the symposium. They are all members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

Zheng Shanjie, director of the National Development and Reform Commission, and Tang Dengjie, Han Jun, Yin Hong, Lou Yangsheng, Wang Menghui, and Shen Xiaoming, secretaries of the CPC provincial committees respectively of Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei, and Hunan, briefed the symposium on the endeavors to promote the development of the central region, and proposed opinions and suggestions.

Xi delivered an important speech after listening to their briefings. He pointed out that in the past five years since the last symposium on furthering the development of the central region was held, the central region's economy registered a stable growth, drivers of its innovative growth continued to strengthen, and its industrial foundation significantly improved. It made new strides in reform and opening up, and progress in social programs in all respects. Its people's living standards continuously improved, and the pace of green and low-carbon transformation was accelerated. As a result, this region's development is at a higher starting point. Xi noted that there are still many difficulties and challenges to overcome for the region's further development. They need to be seriously studied.

Xi stressed the imperative of innovation in science and technology leading that in industries to proactively cultivate and develop new quality productive forces. With the real economy as the cornerstone, Xi urged efforts to develop an advanced manufacturing sector, actively promote new industrialization, transform and upgrade traditional industries, foster emerging industries, plan ahead for future industries, and quicken pace in building a modern industrial system underpinned by advanced manufacturing. Xi highlighted the need to pay more attention to the deep integration between scientific and technological innovation and industrial innovation, strengthen efforts to make major technological breakthroughs, and bolster technological support for the innovative development of industries. Xi noted the need to reinforce the principal role of enterprises in innovation, establish innovation consortia with close cooperation between upstream and downstream companies, facilitate collaborative innovation by firms, universities and research institutes, and speed up the pace of translating scientific achievements into real productivity. Xi stressed the need to further promote the major technological transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing sector, as well as the large-scale equipment renewals, so as to make the manufacturing sector higher-end, smarter and greener, and inject dynamism and vitality into traditional industries.

The endeavor for further development of the central region should be better linked with the nation's other major development strategies to help the region better integrate into and support the country's new development paradigm, he said. He noted the importance for the region's development to be aligned with that of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and its growth to integrate and coordinate with the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and ecological conservation and high-quality development in the Yellow River basin. Measures should be taken to support phased trans-regional relocation of industries in an orderly manner and optimize industrial layout. It is imperative to advance the development of a modern transportation infrastructure system to improve the pivotal role of the central region as a central corridor. It is essential to establish and improve regional cooperation mechanisms between provinces to facilitate regional coordinated development. Xi called for efforts to further boost the development of urban clusters along the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and in the central provinces and enhance coordination and connection with urban clusters, so as to further boost the development of surrounding areas.

Xi also urged the need to promote in-depth reform and high-level opening up in a coordinated manner and consistently develop the region into a more competitive inland pacesetter for opening up. He underscored the efforts to advance reforms for the market-based allocation of production factors, refine the systems underpinning the market economy, and comprehensively clear up and rectify local protectionist practices, with a view to promoting reasonable flow and optimal allocation of various production factors across regions and further contribute to the development of a unified national market. It is essential to steadily expand institutional opening up, get deeply integrated into the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, proactively connect with the new Eurasian Land Bridge and the new western land-sea corridor, build pilot free trade zones with high standards, and build more high-standard platforms for opening up and cooperation, which will play a bigger role in connecting domestic and international economic flows. Xi noted the need to strengthen the development of a market-oriented, law-based and internationalized business environment, which should be made more attractive to domestic and foreign factor resources. It is important to unswervingly consolidate and develop the public sector and to encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public sector. State-owned enterprises must be supported to become stronger, better and bigger, and the development environment must be further optimized for private enterprises.

Xi noted the importance of jointly advancing ecological environmental protection and green and low-carbon development, so as to accelerate the building of a beautiful central region. Hard work must be continued to prevent and control pollution, improve the ecological environment of major rivers and lakes in a systematic, comprehensive and coordinated manner, and make up for the deficiency in urban sewage collection and treatment facilities. It is imperative to promote the green and low-carbon transformation of industrial, energy and transport structures, accelerate the cultivation and expansion of green and low-carbon industries, and strengthen the conservation, intensive use and recycling of resources. Efforts should be made to optimize the compensation mechanism for horizontal ecological protection in river basins and the mechanism for realizing the value of ecological products, and advance the process of making industries ecologically friendly and developing ecological conservation industries.

Xi stressed the necessity of pursuing integrated development of urban and rural areas and taking solid steps to promote rural revitalization across the board. It is imperative to promote new urbanization with focus on county seats, ensure a balanced allocation of public resources and free flow of production factors between urban and rural areas, and extend urban infrastructure and public services to rural areas. Rural infrastructure should be further improved, and efforts are required to improve living environment in rural areas, advance agricultural operation of appropriate scale, and promote the integrated development of the first, second and tertiary industries. Rural reform should be further strengthened, and supportive policies to boost agriculture, benefit farmers and boost local economies should be improved, so as to fully unleash impetus for the development of agriculture and rural areas. Greater efforts are required to boost county economies to create new growth drivers. Greater importance should be attached to the revitalization and development of old revolutionary base areas and underdeveloped counties, towns and districts. It is essential to make up for the deficiencies of public services, foster and strengthen rural industries with local features, and strengthen the endogenous driving force for development. Monitoring and assistance mechanisms should be optimized to prevent those lifted out of poverty from falling back to poverty, and see that no large number of people become poverty-stricken again. Greater efforts are needed to revitalize rural culture and facilitate the transformation of outdated rural customs. It is also imperative to optimize the community-level governance system led by Party organizations that combines self-governance, the rule of law and the rule of virtue, apply and further develop the "Fengqiao model" for promoting community-level governance in the new era, and consistently combat and root out organized crime to create a healthy social atmosphere.

Xi noted the importance of mutual support between high-quality development and high-level security, and improving the capability to ensure the security of food, energy and resources. He called for endeavors for high-quality development of functional areas for grain production, protected areas for the production of important agricultural products, and areas for producing local specialty agricultural products. He emphasized the necessity of developing a number of bases for producing, processing, and supplying green agricultural products. In this way, the stable and safe supply of important agricultural products such as grain can be secured. Xi urged efforts to upgrade the level of exploring and utilizing resources such as coal and rare earth, strengthen the security role of fossil energy such as coal, and speed up the development of new-energy systems. Importance should be attached to the mutual complementation and full integration of traditional energy and new energy.

Last but not least, Xi stressed that the Central Leading Group for Coordinated Regional Development must strengthen the overall coordination, supervision, and guidance in this regard. Relevant departments in the central government must step up their support and put forth policies and measures through studies for promoting the development of the central region in the new era. Local Party committees and governments must shoulder primary responsibilities, resolutely implement the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee, and promote the implementation of key tasks and major reforms. What has been achieved in the theoretical study program should be consolidated and efforts should be made to train high-caliber and professional officials who are loyal to the Party, have moral integrity and demonstrate a keen sense of responsibility, establish and optimize systems for evaluation and motivation, and motivate officials to boldly break new ground and take on responsibilities.

In his speech, Premier Li Qiang said it is imperative to conscientiously study and understand as well as put into practice the gist of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speech. The growth of the central region should be given due thought in light of its role in the large picture of national development and in supporting the fostering of a new development paradigm, striving to turn its geographical and resource strengths into development advantages. The central region is urged to proactively dovetail with development strategies of other regions, actively introduce industrial innovation resources from the eastern region and strengthen its role in leading the development of the western region, thus upgrading its level of opening up. The region should consolidate its strengths and make up for its deficiencies, allowing full play to its strengths and unleashing its potential in promoting new urbanization and low-carbon development. By doing so, it can promote intra-regional cooperation and boost its overall strength and competitiveness.

Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang stated in his speech that we should thoroughly study and implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important speech, following closely the requirements for high-quality development to constantly make new progress in promoting the development of the central region. Innovation in science and technology should be integrated with that in industries to accelerate the development of new quality productive forces in light of local conditions. Efforts should be made to boost the capability to ensure the security of food, energy and resources, so as to realize the positive interaction between high-quality development and high-level security. It is important to promote the building of a unified national market and high-level opening up and cooperation, and continuously strengthen the endogenous force and vitality of development. Persistent endeavor should be made to protect eco-environment, providing green foundation for high-quality development.

Li Ganjie, He Lifeng, Wu Zhenglong and Mu Hong attended the symposium. Also present were leading officials from central Party and state departments, and leading officials of some local governments and enterprises.