Accelerating Transformation of the Pattern of Economic Development to Develop a World-Class City

From: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2011-09-19 18:09
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 We followed the decisions and arrangements of the central government and actively responded to the international financial crisis.

 The capital’s economy has been hit with unprecedented difficulties and challenges since the last half of 2008 as the international financial crisis spread and its impact grew. In order to meet these challenges, the Beijing municipal government decided on the following measures: to always bear in mind the special characteristics of development of the capital, take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the crisis in terms of shifts in the international industrial pattern, excess labor and technology transfers, seize the opportunities presented by the major policy shift to increase domestic demand, take advantage of the opportunities presented by the approval of the State Council to set up the National Demonstration Zone for Independent Innovation in Zhongguancun, Beijing and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the investment of 1.7 trillion yuan in major projects. While ensuring continued growth, ensuring the well-being of the people and ensuring stability, the Beijing government is at the same time working to adjust the capital’s economic structure, raise the overall level of the economy and promote transformation of the pattern of economic development. We concentrated our financial and human resources and applied a combination of measures on the basis of a clearly defined approach to make further breakthroughs in the five key links.

 One, we must work hard to adjust the industrial structure. Taking an approach of improving primary industry, strengthening secondary industry and expanding tertiary industry while concentrating on high-level, refined, specialized and strong industries, we must energetically work to promote the production-type service industry, cultural creative industry, high and new technology industry and modern manufacturing industry. We have formulated a plan to promote the development of six key industries: the electronic information industry, automobile industry, equipment manufacturing industry, bioengineering and new drug industry, new energy and environmental protection industry and urban industry. We will be working hard to attract the headquarters and R&D centers of transnational corporations and seek to gain a strategic advantage in the shift of international high-end industries.

 Two, we must work hard to improve the capital’s ability to make advances in science and technology. The crucial factor in our efforts to successfully overcome the impact of the international financial crisis, make the capital’s economy more competitive and promote transformation of the pattern of economic development is reliance on independent advances in science and technology. To promote independent innovation in the capital, we formulated an action plan called, “Science and Technology Beijing” to accelerate development of the Zhongguancun National Demonstration Zone for Independent Innovation, diligently carry out all pilot government policies, organize resources for making advances in science and technology through development of a capital platform for science and technology and encourage efforts to make advances in science and technology. Implementation of this plan has greatly strengthened the contribution of science and technology to the capital’s economy.

 Three, we must work hard to build up project reserves, land reserves and personnel reserves. In responding to the international financial crisis, we have kept our focus on the present while taking into consideration the long term, energetically promoted development of the real economy and taken full advantage of the role of the real economy in creating wealth, ensuring adequate employment opportunities and strengthening the core competitiveness of the capital’s economy. We took the creative step of setting up a government land development and reserve system to address difficult issues in development, completing the task of reserving 100 billion yuan worth of land and laying a solid foundation for sustainable development of the capital’s economy. Taking advantage of the surplus of high-level personnel in other countries, the capital attracted 50 high-level creative and entrepreneurial personnel.

 Four, we worked hard to make innovations in the working mechanism of the government. In the effort to make the government more service-oriented, we set up a green approval channel for major investment projects and greatly improved the efficiency of services. We made good use of the guiding role of planning to attract advanced production facilities, promote reasonable movement of the factors of production, improve the industrial pattern in the capital, promote rational distribution of resources, promote intensive use of land and bring about orderly development of the capital. To address the difficult issue of demolition and relocation in the capital’s development, we made correctly balancing interests a priority task, worked to develop a mechanism linking housing demolition with the availability of replacement housing and a reasonable mechanism for setting the price of housing to be demolished and set up a compensation mechanism for demolished housing based on market conditions, thereby improving demolition work for major projects.

  A panoramic view of the eastern sector of Beijing. The tallest building in the center is the 330 meter tower of China World Trade Center which was opened for business on August 30, 2010. The tallest building in the Chinese capital so far, it is the kernel of the third phase construction project of the center and the core of Beijing’s central business district. / Photo supplied by Xinhua (file photo)

 Five, we devoted a great deal of effort to converting and utilizing the treasure created by the Beijing Olympics. The Beijing Olympics and Paralympics left us with a valuable treasure. Following the Beijing Olympics, we promptly converted the three ideals of the Olympics into a development strategy of “people’s Beijing, high-tech Beijing and green Beijing,” and then formulated an action plan and made the requirements for the Scientific Outlook on Development more specific as the basis for related efforts, thus ensuring we always maintained the correct development orientation in addressing the impact of the international financial crisis. We made good use of the stadiums and other Olympic venues to hold various types of cultural and sports events, thus enriching the cultural and intellectual life of the people, taking advantage of the role of public cultural and sports facilities and giving a boost to the development of sports programs in the capital.

 Thanks to our hard efforts, the capital’s economic development has stayed on track. This is mainly evident in several areas. The capital’s development did not go into a slump following the Olympics in contrast to the normal pattern with other cities hosting the Games. The capital’s economy continued to develop rapidly while overcoming the impact of the international financial crisis just as it did while the city was preparing for the Olympics. This type of development is in line with the Scientific Outlook on Development, development led by the service industry, in harmony with the characteristics of the capital and sustainable.

 We solidified our achievements in overcoming the impact of the international financial crisis and accelerated transformation of the pattern of economic development.

 The year 2010 is a crucial year in the implementation of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan as well as an important year in the effort to start a new round of scientific development in the capital and speed up pursuit of the strategy of making the capital a “people’s Beijing, high-tech Beijing and green Beijing.” We tightly focused on speeding up the transformation of the pattern of economic development, this most important task, and pooled the resources of all the residents of the city to make progress in the five key links, taking into consideration actual conditions in Beijing.

 We put more effort into improving and upgrading the industrial structure. The focus of these efforts was to develop a group of key industries, enterprises and projects and foster the development of large ten-billion-yuan enterprises and a group of dedicated, specialized, refined and new industries that are “little giants” to form a group of influential innovative enterprises on the basis of further consolidating and developing the industrial structure led by the service industry with the objective of strengthening and expanding the real economy. We accelerated the “Green Beijing” action plan, working hard to develop new energy and the technology for renewable energy, technology for comprehensive use of resources and the new energy-saving technology, and making an all-out effort to create a green production system, green consumption system and green environmental system.

 We put more effort into strengthening the capital’s ability to make independent innovations. The focus of these efforts was to fully implement the “High-tech Beijing” action plan, devoting a great deal of effort to the development of the Zhongguancun National Demonstration Zone for Independent Innovation, increasing efforts to carry out pilot reform trials and creating a dynamic environment for independent innovation to make Zhongguancun a center for making advances in science and technology with global impact. The focus is to implement a group of projects to put major advances in science and technology into production to form a group of innovative enterprises with a certain scale and strength as soon as possible and obtain a series of excellent results based on independent intellectual property rights.

 We put more effort into urbanization of rural districts. Rural districts surrounding the capital represent a strategic outlying area and important backing for further development of the capital. We have been accelerating development of areas between the city and the countryside this year, fully launching the urbanization project for 50 key villages located between the city and the countryside. We accelerated development of key new satellite cities and took advantage of foreign and domestic resources to transform Beijing’s satellite cities as quickly as possible into a part of a new modern international metropolis in line with the development requirements of the capital.

 We put more effort into greater innovation in reform. We accelerated efforts to make the government more service-oriented, make administrative approval procedures more streamlined, devolve approval authority and standardize administrative approval measures to improve the quality of government services and raise efficiency. We accelerated reform of the key industrial functional zones, accelerated reform of administrative division and streamlining of key functional zones, and broke down restrictions in administrative division, focusing on developing the northern high and new technology industrial strip. In the southern part of the city we energetically worked to streamline administrative resources to develop a new modern manufacturing zone there. We accelerated the market for the factors of production, constantly expanded the scale of property and technology trading, and accelerated development of trading in financial properties and other innovative types of property trading.

 We put more effort into social development and improvement of people’s lives. We are putting more effort into social management in this current stage to increase the government’s ability to mobilize the people and strengthen public social services. The focus of these efforts is to make innovations in the government service and management model with both new economic and social organizations, set up more social service stations in commercial buildings and develop organizations to link social organizations. At the same time, we are putting more effort into social development and adopting measures to resolve the issues that directly affect the interests of the people such as employment, education, housing and medical care.

 We are planning for the capital’s long-term development to make it into a world-class city.

 Efforts to modernize the capital have entered a new stage. We came up with a new approach and assessment of the state of the capital’s development while responding to the impact of the international financial crisis. We looked at the capital’s development from the lofty perspective of developing Beijing into a world-class city by making development more scientific, upgrading planning and raising the level of services and management. Creating a world-class city while overcoming challenges is not only an honorable and ideal objective, but is also a scientific plan backed by objective and realistic conditions.

 First, developing the capital into a world-class city is a requirement contained in the Master Plan for the City of Beijing (2004-2020) approved by the State Council. The master plan states that we must constantly work to raise the profile and strengthen the role of Beijing among the cities of the world to reach the goal of turning the capital into a world-class city. The first step is to establish the basic framework for a modern international metropolis. The second stage leading up to 2020 is to strive for comprehensive modernization to establish the city as a modern international city with its own unique character. The third stage leading up to about 2050 is to achieve sustainable development of the capital with balanced economic, social and ecological development to make the capital among the ranks of world-class cities. Beijing’s master plan has been in operation for 5 years now, during which considerable progress has been made in raising the level of the development and management of the capital and many targets in the plan have been reached ahead of schedule. Against this background, the government is developing the capital to reach the standards for a world-class city in order to implement the master plan approved by the State Council at a higher level.

 Second, making the capital a world-class city is an objective requirement presented by changes in the conditions and national strength of China and improvement in the country’s international standing. The world is now in an important period of major developments, major changes and major shifts, with greater and greater diversity in the political situation and a growing trend of economic globalization. In particular, there was a shift in the country’s international standing as the country coped with the international financial crisis. Objectively, this means that the country’s capital must become globally oriented in planning for its development and constantly raise the level of internationalization in its development to meet the state’s requirement to properly balance international and domestic concerns.

 Third, we already have an excellent development base for developing the capital into a world-class city. Per capita GDP for the city topped US$10,000 last year and local government revenue exceeded 200 billion yuan. In addition, there was constant improvement in the industrial structure, with the proportion of tertiary industry raised to 75.8%. The capital’s development is now on track to make the city a modern international city in all respects. Beijing, as the capital of the country, holds an important position in the national economy. The results of the economic census show that total assets held by all enterprises and institutions in the capital area amounted to 64 trillion yuan, or about 31% of the national total of 207 trillion yuan. Beijing definitely can, as well as should, develop into a world-class city.

 Developing the capital into a world-class city does not mean simply reproducing the form and development path of current world-class cities. It means diligently following the development strategy of a “people’s Beijing, high-tech Beijing and green Beijing” in accordance with the requirements of the Scientific Outlook on Development. While raising the city’s global impact we must also ensure that the capital has obvious Chinese characteristics and displays its character as a capital city. This is a long-term task, so we must start now and persistently work toward this goal. We believe that the future looks even brighter for the capital.

(From Qiushi in Chinese, No. 10, 2010)

Note: Author: Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee       

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