China / Society

Beijing integration plan requires clear-cut cooperation

By Zhang Zhouxiang ( Updated: 2014-03-23 19:13

There has been a great deal of effort recently to integrate Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, but the project is huge and requires cooperation from all involved, according to a Beijing Times column. Excerpts:

It was recently announced that the 13 Hebei counties surrounding Beijing might change their telephone zip code number to Beijing's 010. Intercity roads are also being planned to make transportation more convenient.

These are good moves — integration of telecommunications and transportation is the first step. However, it's far from enough. The counties surrounding Beijing rely heavily on Beijing to drive their economies and being physically connected to Beijing might not turn them into new centers that can sustain large population numbers. The designed satellite districts of Beijing, namely Daxing and Tongzhou, already are similar in size to small cities that offer housing for people who work in Beijing.

To realize the integration and create a greater Beijing, it is necessary to define the roles of different districts and encourage them to follow their own modes of development.

That in turn requires coordination from leaders. We hope the leaders can see the importance of coordination because that will decide how the integration of greater Beijing pans out.

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