By HU YONGQI
Xiongan New Area will control the use of land by developing up to 30 percent of its area in the long run, leaving the rest for green space and water landscapes, the State Council said on Wednesday.
The new area should create an inviting, ecologically healthy environment, and stronger efforts should be made to better manage and environmentally restore Baiyang Lake in Hebei province.
Procedures should be developed to replenish the lake's water and recover acreage that has been lost over the years. Rural pollution should be effectively constrained to ensure that the lake's water quality meets national standards.
A national park will be built for the lake in the long term, and a large number of trees will be planted in the area. Air quality should be substantially improved so that the new area will have blue skies, green space and clean water.
These goals for the new area were listed in the 14-clause overall plan (2018-35) that has been approved by the central government and was disclosed on Wednesday.
The national new area, covering land of Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin counties and neighboring areas between Beijing and Baoding in Hebei, was established in April 2017. Ultimately, the area will have 2,000 square kilometers of land.
By the end of June 2017, the number of permanent residents of the area reached 1.04 million, and it is designed to accommodate 2 million to 2.5 million people in the future.
The boundary of urban development should be strictly regulated in Xiongan, with strong protection of permanent farmlands and taking the lakes and ponds, forests, farmland and grassland as a whole ecosystem, the document said.
It said Xiongan will undertake non-capital functions from Beijing in an orderly way, focusing on universities, research institutes, medical institutions, corporate headquarters, financial institutions, and public institutions. Infrastructure and public services should be improved along with the local business environment.
The document aims for coordinating the development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, with Xiongan to be built as one of the "two wings" of Beijing, along with Tongzhou district, where the Beijing municipal government is now located.
The new area and the city of Zhangjiakou should be promoted as two driving engines for Hebei, seizing the opportunity of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, which will be co-hosted by Beijing and Zhangjiakou.
Hebei should perform its duties in promoting all work in Xiongan with every inch of land being cautiously planned before construction, the document added.