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Big changes on the horizon for Guanzhong Plain

May 16, 2018


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BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Shaanxi, one of China's Northwestern provinces along the ancient Silk Road, has teamed up with three neighboring provinces to boost urbanization of the Guanzhong Plain urban cluster, as more integrated efforts are needed to deepen the reform and opening-up policy in the area and promote the country's Belt and Road Initiative.

Governors of 12 cities across the three provinces — Shaanxi province, Shanxi province and Gansu province — on the Guanzhong plain gathered at the High-level Forum on New Urbanization last Thursday, signing the Declaration of Guanzhong Plain and vowing to make an integrated effort to boost urbanization in the area.

Co-hosted by Shaanxi province and Chinese top education institute Tsinghua University, the forum was held after the nation unveiled this year's urbanization plan for the Guanzhong plain in March, which aims to build an urban cluster with Xi'an, capital city of Shaanxi province, at its center.

"The profound historical basis and solid foundation of modern technology has put Xi'an in a significant position for advancing the urbanization of the Guanzhong area," said Yin Zhi, executive vice dean of the Institute for China Sustainable Urbanization at Tsinghua University. "The point is how we can take advantage of our heritage to advance the urbanization process of the whole area."

As urged by the ICSU and supported by the three provincial governments, the declaration states member cities vow to collaborate in various ways to push forward the urbanization process as a whole, including cooperation in infrastructure construction, culture and education, enhancing regional connectivity and making plans for regular round-table meetings.

"As a newly-announced national central city of China, Xi'an should exploit its natural advantages and solid foundation to further the urbanization process. At the same time, it should also shoulder the responsibility of stronger regional development by utilizing its position as a regional powerhouse," Yin added.

The national central city concept was proposed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in 2005 as a first step in reforming urbanization in China. In 2010, the first batch of national central cities — Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing and Guangzhou — was identified.

Xi'an is seeking to capitalize on being promoted as the ninth national central city on Feb 7, according to a development plan released by the National Development and Reform Commission for the Guanzhong Plain urban cluster.

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