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SW China's Chongqing Plays Three Roles to Open up a New Development Pattern with a New Engine

Apr 21,2020 ByYULING CHENICHONGQING

The construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle is in full swing, New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC), and China Railway Express (Yuxinou) keep upgrading and the ecological benefits of the eco-security shields in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River are getting increasingly prominent.

In recent years, Chongqing is striving to support the advancement of the Western Development Strategy for a new era and lead the coordinated development of the western region. It has been driving the co-construction of the Belt and Road and facilitating its further and stabler development. It also plays an exemplary role in promoting green development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt and tries to expand the path of green development, thus achieving new breakthroughs through different actions.

Create a new engine for the western region’s development

Chongqing-Chengdu point-to-point train

At 3:00 p.m. on April 15, the first Chongqing-Chengdu point-to-point train departs from the Chongqing Xinglongchang Marshalling Station. (Photo by Tang Yi)

To promote the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, Sichuan and Chongqing held the first session of the Party-administration joint meeting this March. It marked the launch of the national strategy of coordinated regional development, which was put forward earlier this year.

“Previously, it was difficult for Rongchang High-tech Industrial Development Zone to attract investment due to its location in the intermediate zone between Chengdu and Chongqing. Now, however, quite a few enterprises scramble for settlement in the zone so as to occupy the markets of both cities,” said Cao Qingyao, the Secretary of the CPC Rongchang District Committee.

Surrounding provinces are also speeding up integrating into Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle. From April 10, trains started to run on the high-speed loop railway connecting Chongqing, Chengdu, and Guiyang.

On April 12, passengers were going to board the first train of Sichuan-Chongqing-Guizhou inter-provincial loop high-speed railway. (Photo by Tang Yi)

In October 2019, 12 western provinces, autonomous regions, and direct-controlled municipalities and Hainan Province signed a framework agreement on the cooperation and co-construction of the “New Land-Sea Corridor” in Chongqing.

The whole western region has participated in the ILSTC since its launch in Chongqing. With destinations covering 220 ports in 92 countries and regions, the ILSTC is helping the western region go global.

It is the key to push forward the Western Development Strategy to form a new pattern and build a modern industrial system. As Chongqing is deeply implementing the innovation-driven development strategy led by big data intelligence, its industrial chain of “chips, LCD panels, intelligent terminals, core components, and Internet of Things” is getting increasingly stronger.

In 2019, the added value of Chongqing’s digital economy increased by nearly 15%. Chongqing is now speeding up its development and playing a leading role as an important city of smart manufacturing.

To jointly work out a “meticulous painting” of the BRI

“China Post” China Railway Express (Yuxinou)

On April 3, the first “China Post” China Railway Express (Yuxinou) block train was waiting to depart from Chongqing Tuanjie Village Railway Central Station. (Photo by Tang Yi)

On April 3, the first “China Post” China Railway Express (Yuxinou) block train pulled out of Chongqing Tuanjie Village Railway Central Station slowly, blazing a new path for international mail distribution and transportation.

Nine years ago, “Yuxinou,” the first China Railway Express (CR Express) route in China, was launched there. Since then, Chongqing has taken the lead in the joint construction of the Belt and Road: It is the first to welcome the return of a CR Express train and the first to open up the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor.

In July 2019, the 52nd session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law adopted the suggestions on the work to address problems involved in railway waybills with no nature of the document of title submitted by the Chinese government. It is partly due to Chongqing’s unremitting exploration of the “rules of international trade on land.”

In December 2017, Chongqing issued the world’s first railway bill of international lading letter of credit and widely used it in international trade activities on land such as CR Express.

Chongqing has seen a slew of BRI cooperation projects and their results in recent years. It has signed a total of 204 projects of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (CCI), valuing over USD 30 billion by the end of this March.

Besides, a number of international conferences and exhibitions have been held in the city, including the Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Belt and Road International Skills Competition, and the Belt and Road Forum for Interconnected Land-Sea Development.

To take the “upstream responsibility” for green development.

Guangyang Island

Taken with a drone on March 6, 2020, the photo shows the bird’s-eye view of Guangyang Island in Chongqing. (Photo by Wang Quanchao)

Guangyang Island is the largest island located in the center of the Yangtze River in its upper reaches. It was once planned for more than three million square meters of real estate development. Now, it is built as a “beautiful landscape on Yangtze River, an ecological island in Chongqing.”

That is because Chongqing has strengthened its “upstream awareness” and shouldered its “upstream responsibility.” The city is striving to lead the way in green development for the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

A region-wide list of industries banned from the investment has been made clear, ecological red lines drawn, and a 394-kilometer-long coastline improved.

The ecological environment continues to improve in the city. In 2019, its forest coverage reached 50.1%, the water quality of the Chongqing section in the Yangtze River, Jialing River, and Wujiang River was excellent, and there were 316 days of good air quality.

Wanzhou District, a key area of the Three Gorges Reservoir, has shut down a number of heavy chemicals, electroplating, papermaking, and other pollution industries and rejected investment projects (worth over five billion) that do not meet the requirements of environmental protection. In contrast, the development of key industries such as green lighting and smart equipment is accelerating.

Fengjie County was once among the country’s top 100 counties for coal-producing, but it has stopped producing coal and started to develop cultural tourism. Through integrating profound cultural deposits of traditional Chinese poetry with tourism landscapes, Fengjie has gained its reputation as the “city of poetry.”

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