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China's first Aquilaria Art museum has opened in Tianjin's Five Main Street Area.
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Zong Guoying was elected head of Tianjin's Binhai New Area at the first session of the first People's Congress of Binhai.
Hangu District Bent on a Green Economy


  Hangu District Bent on a Green Economy

HANGU District in eastern Tianjin is a slot of 442 square kilometers by the Bohai Sea in the promising Tianjin-Beijing-Hebei triangle. For 2,000 years its salt and fishing industries, and agriculture have flourished, sustained by the district's extensive river system. After Binhai New District, of which Hangu is a part, was established by the State Council in 2006 as a pilot zone for reforms, Hangu has been ushered into a new stage of development.

An Environmentally Friendly City

The Sino-Singapore Eco-city under construction in Hangu has been drawing in investors since the plan was revealed. Another cooperative project between the two nations following the Suzhou Industrial Park, the eco-city is a community of 20 square kilometers operated by new and green technologies, including renewable energies, efficient energy use, recycling and controlled emissions. Much of the area is saline-alkali land and barren shoals, but in 10 to 15 years they will be reclaimed for a city with modern industries of low energy consumption and high added value, complete living facilities, easy transport and a pleasant environment. It is intended to explore ways to strike a balance between human activities, the economy and nature, and will offer inspirations to other regions of China on completion.

The Sino-Singapore Eco-city is one of the many efforts Hangu has made in recent years to shift its development priority from industry to the environment. Its rich natural and geopolitical resources and strength in transportation and tourism have made these endeavors practical and fruitful. In 2008 the air quality was measured fair by state standard for more than 320 days, and energy consumption per RMB 10,000 of GDP was cut by 4 percent. Meanwhile main roads were spruced up with greenery and flowers throughout the year. According to the district's Plan for Construction of an Eco-District, its economy, energy use efficiency, living standards and the environment will all be tangibly improved by the year 2010, and its muscles of sustainable growth will be substantially enhanced by the year 2015.

"In 2009 we will stick to the strategy of building the district's competitiveness and influence through ameliorating the natural environment. More investment will be put into making the area more livable," said Lü Fuchun, Party secretary of Hangu.

Big Investment Projects

The Tianjin Beijiang Power Plant, invested in by the State Development and Investment Corporation, is one of China's first trial projects of the circular economy. It is not the filthy power station of the conventional kind. As much as 98 percent of the sulfur dioxide in the waste it generates will be filtered before going back into nature. And the heat induced during power generation can be used for desalinating seawater, producing 20 tons of fresh water every day. What's more, the desalination process will produce water of high saline concentration, which can be distilled to make salt.

When the first phase of the plant is finished in 2010, it will supply sufficient electricity, fresh water and salt to businesses and residents in the area, and set an example of green power for the city and the nation.

Big projects give strong impetus to the local economy and society. The year 2008 saw another influx of investments in Hangu. Seventeen projects were completed, and 103 broke ground, with 28 of them costing more than RMB 50 million. Among them an oxidized pellet plant and Tianjin Dongqi Wind Turban Blade Engineering Corp. began operation, the first phase of Jinbin Industrial Park was completed, and construction of the Central Fishing Port, Hailong Pipe Plant and Hangu Passenger Transport Station proceeded as scheduled. More investment projects have been signed recently, including the Mazu (Goddess of the Sea) Culture Economic and Trade Park and Binhai Wine Castle. The Chadian Grape Sci-Tech Park, to be completed in 2011, is an agricultural project that features industrialized plantation, corporate management, independent research and development, and vacation and education services.

In addition to the above, there are four mega-sized industrial zones to be built in Hangu – an RMB 1.2 billion Sci-Tech Park, an RMB 4.9 billion new- and hi-tech ecological park, an RMB 1 billion logistics service park, and an RMB 12 billion IT Park. They are expected to add more steam to the local economy.

Salt, Art and Romance

Hangu arose from the salt industry. Salt fields of sparkling crystals still strew the district today. The hardship of the trade didn't deprive locals of their penchant for art and other elegant human activities. Instead Hangu is famed for woodblock prints, seal carving, exlibris design and cymbal performances.

In 1996 the district was named by the Ministry of Culture the "town of woodblock prints and seal carving." More than 2,000 works by local artists have been collected by domestic and international art institutions and collectors, and presented to foreign state leaders as gifts.

The leading figure in the woodblock print sector is Liu Shuohai, who has won prizes in print exlibris design contests in 15 nations and 7 regions. He established a museum to display his collection of 16,000 print exlibris works by masters from over 60 countries. There is barely another exhibition of this kind as big and as complete as his.

The ocean and the bountiful gifts it offers Hangu are strong pulls for tourists. A tour of the Kyiv aircraft carrier, a seafood feast in Caijiabao, a discovery trip to the aquatic farms or vineyards, or an aimless stroll on the sun-drenched beach are all rewarding experiences.

Scientific Planfor the Future

The Beijing-Tianjin intercity rail, inaugurated in 2008, has reduced the trip between the two cities from more than two hours to barely 50 minutes. Closer proximity with the national capital gives Tianjin, including Hangu, a greater dynamic. Even on the coldest winter days construction sites around the district seethe with action. More skyscrapers are rising, roads are getting broader, and old neighborhoods are being refurbished. Hangu is changing on a monthly or even weekly basis.

After studying local conditions and scrutinizing foreign experience, Hangu plans to demarcate itself into four sections: a residential zone in the north, a business district in the south, a harbor area where industries and housing coexist, and a vacation zone. The local economy will primarily depend on eco-industries, new- and hi-tech industries, environmentally friendly businesses and tourism. And the many industrial parks and agricultural demonstration projects in the district will serve as a powerful engine. Some salt fields will be converted into parks; shoals will be developed for real properties; and a CBD will rise on the seashore. As in every place in China, the ultimate goal is to achieve all-around development through science and technology, and meanwhile, restore the harmony between mankind, land and the ocean.

Editor:Guo Changdong Source: China Today

TIANJIN City of Glamour