Xi hails areas' contribution to economic recovery, emphasizes focus on ecology
President Xi Jinping has underlined the importance of developing the Yangtze River Economic Belt to promote the country's high-quality socioeconomic development as proposed in a blueprint adopted by a key Party meeting last month.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark at a symposium in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, on Saturday.
The seminar was held after he concluded a two-day inspection tour which brought him to Nantong and Yangzhou, cities along the Yangtze River. Xi visited places including the waterfront along the Yangtze River and the Grand Canal, a key water control project and cultural heritage site.
It was Xi's first domestic inspection tour after the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, which set China's major social and economic development targets for the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25).
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and flooding disasters this year, the Yangtze River Economic Belt has made a prominent contribution as China takes the lead in economic recovery among major world economies, Xi said.
He urged the region to become a major force promoting the country's green development that gives priority to ecology, promotes the establishment of a new development paradigm and advances high-quality development. The new "dual-circulation" development paradigm takes the domestic market as the mainstay while the domestic and international markets boost each other.
The Yangtze River Economic Belt covers the 11 provincial-level regions of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Chongqing, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou and Shanghai. It accounts for nearly half of the country's population and total economic output.
Xi urged efforts to build the region into a demonstration area that advances green development and promotes harmonious coexistence between people and nature, a key element in formulating China's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and future targets for 2035. The restoration of the Yangtze River's ecological environment should be put as a top priority, he said.
He also called on the region to define its own position in the country's overall development and explore effective ways to stimulate the domestic market. Efforts should be made to combine demand with supply and push forward coordinated development in the upper, middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Xi said.
To build the Yangtze River Economic Belt into a new platform of high-level opening-up, Xi said efforts should be made to foster more opening-up platforms in inland areas.
According to Xi, provinces and cities along the Yangtze River should find their own positions in the new development paradigm and proactively open their markets to the world. He urged efforts to promote the integration of the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt with the joint building of the Belt and Road by expanding investment and trade as well as promoting people-to-people exchanges.
He also stressed efforts to protect the cultural relics and heritage of the river, deepen study of the Yangtze River culture and promote its creative transformation and development.