Regional synergy
Editorial  ·  2023-12-12  ·   Source: NO.50 DECEMBER 14, 2023

The Yangtze is the longest river in China and the third largest in the world. It runs eastward from the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau in the west, through 11 provinces and municipalities, before entering the East China Sea. The regions through which the Yangtze flows cover economically developed regions in the east, but most of them are less developed areas in the country's central and western regions. The Yangtze Economic Belt development strategy addresses the country's overall economic imbalance, between rural and urban areas, and more importantly among different regions. 

In a bid to promote coordinated development, China has hammered out a series of policies targeting the northeast, the east, the central region and the west. It has also identified several priority areas including the Yangtze Economic Belt and the Yangtze River Delta. These measures are aimed at stimulating new growth poles for the Chinese economy.

The population and total economic output of the Yangtze Economic Belt account for half of the country's total. More than one third of the country's higher education institutions and research institutes, and about half of its scientific and technological professionals cluster in this region. Moreover, three of the five national-level science and technology innovation centers are situated there. All this has made it one of the most innovative and dynamic regions of China.

President Xi Jinping pins high hopes on this economic belt. Xi has presided over four symposiums on its development respectively in Chongqing in the upper reaches of the Yangtze, Wuhan and Nanchang in the middle reaches, and Nanjing in the lower reaches, expecting innovation to play a big role in the region's economic lift-off.

From November 28 to December 2, Xi conducted an inspection in Shanghai, which sits on the Yangtze estuary. At a symposium on Yangtze River Delta integration held in the international metropolis, Xi emphasized the need to make new breakthroughs so that the region will take the lead in China's modernization drive. This burgeoning economic hub is expected to build a globally competitive ecosystem for innovation, pioneer ecologically friendly growth and create a first-class business environment. It will also play an exemplary role by strengthening industrial chain resilience and security, collaborating with central and western regions and opening up further in the financial sector.

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