The photo taken on October 6, 2016 shows a bird's-eye view of Sham Chun River or Shenzhen River near the area of Lok Ma Chau in Hong Kong's New Territories. (Photo: VCG)
Chinese authorities on Monday unveiled the outline development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, bringing new opportunities for the three areas to deepen cooperation.
Promoting the development of the Greater Bay Area is a national strategy which Xi Jinping, General Secretary of CPC Central Committee, planned for, made decisions for and promoted in person.
The development of the area is hailed not only as a new attempt to break new ground in pursuing opening up on all fronts, but also a further step in advancing the practice of "one country, two systems."
The plan comprehensively outlines the strategic role, development goals and layout of the Greater Bay Area, aiming to build a dynamic, globally competitive, and world-class city cluster with unremitting efforts.
Promoting its development is a major decision taken to achieve overall and long-term stability. As a region with the highest level of opening-up and the most dynamic economy in the country, the Greater Bay Area holds strategic significance for national development. The region’s competitiveness has improved significantly after 40 years of reform and opening up.
The bay area will be turned into a vibrant world-class city cluster, a globally influential international innovation and technology hub, an important support pillar for the Belt and Road Initiative, a showcase for in-depth cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao, a quality circle for living, working and traveling, and a role model for high-quality development, the plan says.
Promoting the development of the Greater Bay Area is conducive to the implementation of the new development concept and supports the innovation and competitiveness of the national economy. It also facilitates the deepening of reform and the expansion of opening-up, fosters an open economic system in the region which docks with international standards and builds a new platform for high-level international cooperation.
It is a major plan to maintain the long-term prosperity of Hong Kong and Macao. The past 40 years have served Hong Kong and Macao well, integrating them deeply into national development while allowing them to enjoy prosperity from the rest of the country.
Hong Kong and Macao’s integration into the national development conforms to the practice of "one country, two systems" and the demand of the times for reform and opening up. It is also a way for the two areas to explore a new direction for development, opening up new development space, and finding new impetus for development.
The plan will further facilitate the enrichment of the implementation of the "one country, two systems," create more opportunities for the socio-economic development of the two special administrative regions and for Hong Kong and Macao compatriots wishing to develop careers on the mainland, and sustain the long-term prosperity of Hong Kong and Macao.
The construction of the Greater Bay Area must strictly abide by the Constitution and the HKSAR Basic Law within the framework of the "one country, two systems" principle. Building a mutually beneficial and win-win relationship for regional cooperation by upholding the "one country, two systems" principle will infuse new growth drivers for the development of Hong Kong and Macao, and open new ground for further development.
Innovation is the key to facilitating the construction of the Greater Bay Area. The area is built under different social and legal systems, and three separate customs zones and three currencies are involved. Such practice has no precedent in the world.
A high strategic position to realizing national rejuvenation and promoting a new mode featuring opening up on all fronts in the new era is needed to understand the significance of the construction of the Greater Bay Area. We must free our minds, make active explorations and bold trials, strive to play a pioneering role, and remove system barriers and legal and regulation constraints.
Efforts should be made to give play to the advantages of the Greater Bay Area and reform systems and mechanisms, facilitate flow of materials, promote rational labor distribution and complementariness of functions, improve coordination for regional development and boost integrative urban-rural development.
The rule of law and the market should be respected to coordinate and solve issues emerging in the cooperation and development of the Greater Bay Area, so as to let the power for innovation circulate fully and the vitality of market entities fulfilled freely.
We should firmly seize the opportunities for development. The construction of the Greater Bay Area poses a major opportunity for cultivating new advantages, playing new roles, achieving new progress and making new contributions. It is also a valuable chance for Guangdong to further reform and open up. Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao should grasp the opportunity to write a new chapter for national rejuvenation.
(Translated from a commentary published on People's Daily front page on February 19, 2019)