Zhejiang accelerates pace of YRD integration
Qiandao Lake, a 580-sq-km artificial lake with 1,078 islands covered with lush vegetation, is located in Chun'an county in Zhejiang province and receives 6 billion metric tons of clean water from Xin'an River every year. [Photo/IC]
Last December, the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council jointly issued a document on the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) area.
The YRD is a prosperous region consisting of Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, and Shanghai. It accounts for 3.7 percent of the country's total land area while making up nearly a quarter of the national gross domestic product. The YRD integration strategy is meant to further increase the innovative capacity and competitiveness of the region, which would in turn benefit the entire country.
Zhejiang province has been accelerating its integration into the YRD this year, as reflected in its stronger regional cooperation in the construction of a demonstration zone for YRD integration, building industrial chains, and protecting the environment.
Last November, a demonstration zone for YRD integration was established at the borders between Shanghai and the neighboring provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang. It has an area of 2,300 square kilometers. In June, the Zhejiang provincial government introduced 19 specific measures to develop the zone. The policies involve delegating power to Jiashan county, which is the Zhejiang section of the zone, approving cross-provincial administrative services, improving the county's governance, stronger financial support, and the construction of industrial parks, research institutes, and infrastructure programs in the county.
To form a complete industrial chain for the integrated circuit industry throughout the YRD region and take advantage of Shanghai and Jiangsu's strong IC sector, Zhejiang has managed to draw in a large number of leading IC companies, including Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) and JCET Group. In addition, the provincial capital of Hangzhou is investing heavily in developing a high-end IC design industry.
Xin'an River serves as an example of YRD integration in the area of environmental protection. The 359-kilometer river originates at the Yellow Mountain in Anhui province and extends eastward to western Zhejiang province. The Chun'an (a Zhejiang county that borders Anhui province) section of the river has seen very little garbage afloat during this year's unusually torrential flooding season due to a cross-provincial ecological compensation mechanism that was launched in 2011.
Anhui, which receives financial support from Zhejiang and the central government, has made significant efforts to improve the water quality of the upper reaches of the river and its surrounding environment. After nine years of efforts, Xin'an River has become one of the cleanest rivers in the nation.