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City champions ecological development

By Dong Jidong and Zhang Xiaomin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-09-09 08:01:37

 City champions ecological development

Zhuanghe in Liaoning province has a picturesque landscape and abundant natural resources, including the city's famous Haiwangjiudao, meaning "nine islands of the king of the ocean". Photos Provided to China Daily

City champions ecological development

Zhuanghe leverages location and natural advantages for sustainable growth

Zhuanghe, in Northeast China's Liaoning province, is striving to build a modern ecological port city through industrial upgrading and environmental protection, said a senior official.

The city boasts unique geographic advantages for opening-up. It is located on the banks of the northern part of the Yellow Sea and in the northeastern Dalian, which administers Zhuanghe.

Zhuanghe port is a national first-level open port and one of the closest Chinese ports to Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Zhuanghe ranks 38th among the country's top 100 counties in terms of economic power, according to a survey released by the Zhongjun Research Institute, an economic think tank, in August.

Sun Hong, Party chief of Zhuanghe, said environmental protection and low-carbon economy were key to the city's sustainable development.

During the past 20 years, the city has made great efforts to preserve its natural landscape, which includes more than 300 rivers.

The city not only rejected some investment projects due to pollution concerns but also forbade traditional industries that might damage the environment, including herding and sericulture.

In recent years, the central government has paid great attention to ecological civilization construction. Zhuanghe hopes to seize opportunities and make full use of its geographical advantages to integrate itself into the development course of Dalian.

Zhuanghe will further build itself into a more livable and enterprising city based on its natural and market resources, Sun said.

City champions ecological development

Port potential

With a coastline of 285 kilometers, Zhuanghe has great potential to become a port city. The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives, proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, will help with the expansion of Zhuanghe port and its industrial upgrading, Sun said.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a trade and infrastructure network that connects Asia, Europe and Africa and passes through more than 60 countries and regions with a total population of about 4.4 billion.

In recent years, Zhuanghe has expanded the operation of its port and has worked to build a hub for the export of heavy equipment, furniture and low temperature products as well as imports of wood products, aquatic products and minerals.

Relying on the port, Zhuanghe is building Dalian New Industrial Economic Area, which boasts emerging industries including new energy, environmental protection equipment, ocean engineering and new materials, Sun said.

In June, the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance approved plans to build the China-Japan-South Korea Circular Economy Demonstration Base in the Dalian Recycling Industry Economic Zone in Zhuanghe.

In recent years, Zhuanghe has expanded the operation of its port and strives to build a hub for exports of heavy equipment, furniture and low temperature products as well as imports of wood products, aquatic products and minerals. The port's cargo throughput reached 5.53 million metric tons last year and is expected to reach 15 million tons in five years.

Zhuanghe has held several successful investment introduction activities at home and overseas thanks to the expansion of its port and the construction of the China-Japan-South Korea Circular Economy Demonstration Base, Sun said.

More than 20 investment projects have started in the city and several other projects, including an offshore wind farm, will start construction soon, he said.

Zhuanghe also attaches great importance to improving the livelihood of its people, especially rural residents, by developing modern agriculture. Residents' livelihoods are closely linked to the development of Dalian, Sun said.

The Dandong-Dalian Highspeed Railway, which is expected to start operations at the end of this year, will incorporate Zhuanghe into the one-hour economic circle of Dalian and Dandong, bringing fresh opportunities for development, he said.

Contact the writers at dongjidong@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 09/09/2015 page28)

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