The economic gap between the North and the South has widened
Relevant government departments of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region signed the Framework Agreement on Cooperation in Administrative Services by Region, making it clear that the first batch of about 100 high-frequency items in Northeast China will be provided through regional cooperation, and gradually realizing the coordinated development of government services across the three provinces and one region.
Shortly after, the Ministry of Science and Technology jointly with Shanghai, jiangsu, zhejiang and anhui province jointly compiled by the long triangle community building technological innovation development plan officially announced, the realization of scientific and technological innovation in Yangtze river delta by 2025 preliminary formation, planning, policy coordination mechanism to 2035 basic completed the integration of the regional innovation system in Yangtze river delta.
Has begun in 2021, the “difference” period, China’s regional economy has been in a new round of reshuffle period: continuation “much starker choices-and graver consequences-in” period the focus of regional integration development context, the attenuation of the administrative divisions and administrative barriers to break into a big trend, more cities are identified as the base point of the economic growth pole and regional cooperation, previous scattered around the normal type competition is to accelerate the evolution in the direction of region linkage, means of competition.
Released in November last year the central committee of the communist party of China to develop the national economy and social development of 14 five-year plan and 2035 vision “, adhere to the implementation of regional major strategy, regional coordinated development strategy, strategy of development priority zones, and improve the system of regional harmonious development mechanism, perfect the new urbanization strategy, build high quality development of national spatial layout and the support system.
At the local level, Caijing reporters found that as of January 8, nearly 30 provincial-level government departments across the country had approved their proposals for the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (hereinafter referred to as the 14th Five-Year Plan) and the long-term goals for the year 2035. Among them, breaking regional administrative division, optimizing regional development layout, strengthening regional linkage development, strengthening traditional industries, developing strategic emerging industries, digital economy and modern service industry, has become the core of the strategic layout of each region.
What will be the pattern of China’s regional economy in the future?
Xiao Jincheng, president of the China Association for Regional Science, pointed out to Caijing that the three forms of urban agglomeration, metropolitan area and regional central city can basically cover the whole country and help optimize the spatial layout of the country. China may have about 30 metropolitan areas in the future. The core cities in the circle have a large scale, which can mainly develop modern services such as finance and insurance, scientific and technological research and development, cultural exhibition and so on, while developing traditional services such as commerce and trade, logistics, catering and distribution, to meet the needs of this city and its surrounding cities. Surrounding small and medium-sized cities and small towns can develop manufacturing industry, spare parts industry, agricultural products processing industry and health care industry, forming a reasonable division of labor with the core cities.
We will expand the scope of regional economy from a single city to a multi-center city
At the end of October 2020, General Secretary Xi Jinping published an article titled Several Major Issues in the National Medium – and Long-Term Economic and Social Development Strategy, pointing out that urban cluster development should be promoted to form a multi-center, multi-level and multi-node network urban agglomeration structure. In densely populated areas such as the eastern part of the country, we need to optimize the internal spatial structure of urban agglomerations and appropriately control the size of large cities, instead of blindly spreading out large cities. Provinces and autonomous regions in the central and western regions, where conditions permit, should consciously cultivate multiple central cities to avoid the malpractice of “one city being the sole power”.
According to Xiao Jincheng, municipalities directly under the central government and provincial capital cities generally have geographical advantages and special political status, so they can gather a large number of economic factors. The size of cities is getting bigger and bigger, with some cities having a population of more than 3 million, some cities having a population of more than 5 million and some cities having a population of more than 10 million. The bigger the city, the more attractive it is to economic factors. At present, the population expansion of megacities with permanent urban population of more than 10 million people should be controlled in terms of planning and policies. Megacities with permanent urban population of 5 million to 10 million should be promoted to upgrade their industrial structure, optimize their spatial layout, and increase their urban size slowly.
The provincial capital city primacy is the key index to measure the importance of the city in the regional economic development. According to incomplete statistics by Caijing reporters, Yinchuan, Changchun, Xining, Harbin, Chengdu, Lhasa, Xi ‘an, Wuhan, Lanzhou and Haikou all accounted for more than 30 percent of the provincial GDP in 2019, with some provincial capitals accounting for more than 50 percent. The concentration of factor resources is conducive to the radiating and driving effect of provincial capital cities on the surrounding areas, but too strong siphon effect will lead to the loss of population and resources of other cities in the province.
In the future, cities with a permanent population of more than 3 million should reduce their polarization effect and focus on strengthening their radiation-driven role in surrounding areas, Xiao said. The large, medium and small cities with permanent urban population less than 3 million are still in the stage of industrial agglomeration, so they should be supported to accelerate their development and realize coordination and complementarity with small towns. Caijing reporter has noted that many provinces and cities have proposed to build a “multi-center” growth pole in their 14th Five-Year Plan proposals, and strive to realize the “multi-center drive” of the regional economy.
Shaanxi is adjacent to eight provinces and is one of the most complicated provinces in regional strategic planning. In the 14th Five-Year Plan proposal, the sub-central city of Shaanxi finally fell to Baoji. Previously, the outside world is widely rumored that Yulin will form a “dual core drive” pattern with Xi ‘an. Finally, Yulin and Hanzhong were positioned as regional central cities. According to the plan, in the next five years, Guanzhong, northern Shaanxi and southern Shaanxi will form regional coordinated development, Xi ‘an and Xianyang will continue to promote the integration process, Yulin as a transportation hub into the Hubao, Uryu urban agglomeration, three cities in southern Shaanxi will simultaneously integrate into the Guanzhong plain urban agglomeration and Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle construction.
Located in the same western region as Shaanxi, Sichuan proposes to form sub-provincial economic centers around Chengdu Economic Circle, southern Sichuan Economic Zone and northeastern Sichuan Economic Zone respectively, and at the same time strengthen the functional cooperation between key node cities, Chengdu-Chongqing Dual-Core Cities and regional central cities. Guizhou proposed to support Zunyi to become stronger and sing “A Tale of Two Cities” together with Guiyang. We will accelerate the construction of a new spatial pattern of urbanization with the central Guizhou city cluster as the main body, Guiyang Guian as the leading city, and Guiyang-Gui-Anshun and Zunyi metropolitan areas as the core growth poles.
In the central region, Henan’s 14th Five-Year Plan proposes to build a development pattern of “leading by the main and sub-areas, driving by the two circles, coordinating by the three regions and supporting by multiple points”, with Zhengzhou as the main city, Luoyang as the sub-areas, Anyang, Shangqiao and Nanyang as the regional central cities, and connecting the major national strategies of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta and Yangtze River Economic Belt. Shanxi proposes to speed up the construction of Taiyuan as the national regional central city, promote the construction of Datong, Changzhi and Linfen as the sub-central city, promote the hierarchical division of labor, dislocation development and coordination with Taiyuan metropolitan area, and support and drive the group development of northern, southeastern and southern Shanxi.
Hunan Province proposes to build an economic pattern of “one core, two vice versa, three belts and four regions”, with Changsha as the core and Yueyang and Hengyang as the vice central cities, to promote the coordinated development of four regional plates: Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan, Dongting Lake, southern Hunan and western Hunan. Highlight wuhan hubei proposed “one main lead”, strengthening xiangyang, yichang as deputy center city “two wings drive” radiation effect, promote “to make ten with god”, “appropriate JingJing grace” urban agglomeration by point to the sector shaft type development, integrated into the building along the “area”, the Yangtze river economic belt development, and promote the rise of the central region and national strategies such as construction of urban agglomeration in the middle reach of Yangtze river.
In the eastern and northeastern regions, Zhejiang province emphasizes the “Tale of Two Cities” of Hangzhou and Ningbo to cultivate national central cities. Tianjin has made it clear that the development pattern of Tianjin urban area and Binhai New Area should be built, and the area adjacent to Beijing should be integrated into the new Beijing urban planning, so as to accelerate the urban development of Beijing and Tianjin. Liaoning proposes to form a regional development pattern of “one circle, one belt and two regions” with Shenyang and Dalian as the “dual cores”, and promote the integration of Shenyang modern metropolitan area, Liaoning coastal economic belt and western Liaoning into the pilot area of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei coordinated development strategy and the complementary linkage of eastern Liaoning green economic zone.
Developing polycentric cities and promoting balanced economic development within the region have become the consensus of all provinces. Ying Xiwen, a senior researcher at China Minsheng Banking Research Institute, told Caijing that, on the one hand, single-center, high-density urban development is prone to serious environmental pollution, insufficient resource carrying capacity and concentrated outbreaks of public health incidents. In addition, the “double cycle” requires the expansion of domestic demand, especially the growth space of consumption. The monocentric megacities have high population income, and the growth of marginal consumption has slowed down. But in fact, there are many cities with large population income growth and substantial marginal consumption growth, and the consumption potential of these cities is worth tapping.
It is worth noting that “multi-centricity” does not mean the end of the multi-year strategy of “strong provincial capitals”.
Shandong, Heilongjiang and other provinces in the “14th Five-Year” planning proposals have appeared “strong provincial capital”. Shandong clearly supports Jinan’s efforts to build itself into a modern international metropolis and speed up its construction as a national central city. Heilongjiang Province emphasizes the promotion of Harbin’s urban functions, promoting the integrated development of Harbin Daqing Suihua within the one-hour circle, and promoting the innovative and coordinated development of Harbin Daqing Qi Peony within the two-hour circle. Guizhou proposed to promote the integrated development of Guiyang and Guian to enhance the primacy of provincial capitals. Jiangsu proposed to support Nanjing in striving to become a national central city and promote the high-quality development of Nanjing metropolitan area. Hebei has increased support for the development of its provincial capital to make Shijiazhuang a modern metropolitan area.
Jinan, Nanning, Fuzhou, Nanjing and other cities also emphasize “strengthening provincial capitals” in the municipal “14th Five-Year Plan” proposal. Ying Xiwen analyzes that in the eastern provinces, Jinan is facing the competition from Qingdao, Fuzhou is facing the challenge from Xiamen and Quanzhou, and Nanjing is facing the pressure from Suzhou and Wuxi. Many provincial capitals are not the economic leaders in the province originally, and “strong provincial capitals” is actually the meaning of promoting the balanced development of regional economy. However, the overall level of economic development in western provinces such as Guizhou, Guangxi and Gansu is lower than that in southeastern China, and the resource carrying capacity and radiation effect of provincial capitals are insufficient. The purpose of “strengthening provincial capitals” is to enhance the driving role of provincial capitals in surrounding areas.
Gao Jianhuan, a researcher of the seventh ring city circle, stressed to the reporter of “Caijing” that “strong provincial capital” and “multi-center” are not contradictory. Only by concentrating advantages can we strengthen the provincial capital, can we better radiate other cities in the province. Wuhan in Hubei Province and Xi ‘an in Shaanxi Province, for example, have a high degree of primality among provincial capitals, but Xiangyang and Yulin, with an economic aggregate of 400 billion yuan, are higher than the provincial capitals of Taiyuan and Guiyang, so it is obvious that they should be nurtured into poles of economic growth. In 2019, Harbin is also ranked the fourth in China as a provincial capital. However, the economic conditions of Heilongjiang Province are not enough to support the “multi-center” strategy, so it is logical to implement the “strong provincial capital” strategy.
Industrial layout is optimized within the region, and regional competition tends to be coordinated
Wu Huimin and Li Nannan, researchers of China International Capital Corporation, pointed out to the reporter of “Caijing” that under the “double cycle” pattern, it is necessary to accelerate the establishment of a unified regional market and the environment of free flow of factors, so as to form a new gathering place of factors and promote the in-depth development of regional integration. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the integration of the Yangtze River Delta, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and the Chengzhou-Chongqing economic circle are the four most representative growth poles in China. Regional integration is expected to accelerate during the 14th Five-Year Plan period.
Wu Huimin and Li Nannan analyzed that China’s industrial development during the 14th Five-Year Plan period is expected to achieve a new development pattern of “inter-regional collaborative competition + intra-regional division of labor and cooperation”. On the one hand, urban agglomerations and metropolitan areas are expected to form a complete and complementary industrial chain division of labor, forming a joint force for industrial development; On the other hand, regional advantages and resource advantages are combined with industrial development to promote the coordination of regional industrial structure optimization and spatial layout.
Take Hebei as an example. The 14th Five-Year Plan proposes that the core functional areas of Beijing and Tianjin will focus on the relocation and undertaking of non-capital functions in Beijing. Coastal pioneering development zone, focusing on the development of strategic emerging industries, advanced manufacturing and producer services; The functional development zone in central and southern Hebei Province is mainly responsible for the supply of agricultural and sideline products, the industrialization of scientific and technological achievements and the development of high-tech industries. The ecological conservation area in northern Hebei will give full play to its functions of ecological guarantee, water conservation, energy construction, tourism and leisure, vigorously develop green industry and ecological economy, and plan to build a natural protected area of Taihang Mountains and Yanshan Mountains.
According to the plan, the highly anticipated Xiongan New Area will vigorously develop high-end and high-tech industries, plan to build a “science and technology free port” in Xiongan, set up a number of national innovation platforms such as national laboratories, state key laboratories and engineering research centers, and build an international science and technology innovation cooperation pilot zone. We will promote the implementation of a number of landmark projects in Beijing, including universities, medical institutions, corporate headquarters, financial institutions, and public institutions.
In the strategy of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei coordinated development, Hebei should focus on the construction of such platforms as the airport economic zone of Beijing Daxing International Airport, Caofeidian District, Lutai · Hangu District, Bohai New Area, Zhengding New Area, Beidaihe New Area, Xingdong New Area, Jinan New Area and Binhu New Area, and promote the cooperation and complementarity between the industries of Beijing and Tianjin. We will support the coordinated development of North Three Counties of Langfang City and Tongzhou District of Beijing. We will promote the extension of high-quality education and medical resources from Beijing and Tianjin to Hebei. Promote the integration of factors such as the flow of people, logistics and information flow in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
In fact, strengthening the division of labor layout and linkage development of the industry within the region is also the meaning of helping to form a great domestic cycle. Chen Wenling, chief economist of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said at the China Regional Economy 50 Forum seminar held in April last year that China’s regional economy has strong resilience and room for flexibility. In the face of increasing uncertainties in the world economy, we need to find new drivers of growth through the adjustment of regional economic patterns, form a large cycle of domestic manufacturing, and build, complement, expand and strengthen chains to make China’s industrial chain predictable, controllable and sustainable.
In the past few years, the industrial synergy within China’s regions and the competition and cooperation pattern between regions have initially emerged. According to a national industrial map released by the New First-tier Cities Research Institute in October last year, high-end equipment manufacturing industry is mainly concentrated in the Yangtze River Delta, Shandong Peninsula, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and other regions with a good industrial base. The new material industry presents an obvious eastern coastal layout. New energy, energy conservation, environmental protection and biomedicine are all over the country. The new energy industry shows obvious echelon effect. The photovoltaic energy manufacturing industry gradually expands from the Yangtze River Delta region to Jiangxi, Henan, Sichuan and other places, and develops silicon material supply bases.
From the perspective of the four major city clusters, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region has certain advantages in energy conservation, environmental protection and biomedicine. Under the influence of Beijing and Tianjin, the cities of Cangzhou, Xingtai and Baoding in Hebei Province are outstanding in the field of energy conservation and environmental protection. Shijiazhuang and Baoding also maintain a leading position in the biomedical industry. Enterprises in the Pearl River Delta urban agglomeration and Chengdu-Chongqing twin-city circle together constitute 72.71% of the new-generation information technology industry in China. Among them, the Pearl River Delta accounted for 46.41%. Shenzhen and Dongguan are the core cities of this industry, driving the development of the industry in Foshan, Zhuhai, Zhongshan and other places. Chengdu and Chongqing accounted for 26.30%. It is more reflected in the dual core development of Chongqing and Chengdu.
The enterprises of high-end equipment, energy conservation, environmental protection and industrial Internet of Things in the Yangtze River Delta city cluster account for about half of the country. Shanghai’s industrial spillover and industrial transfer benefit cities within the Yangtze River Delta. For example, part of Shanghai’s automobile industry has been transferred to Yangzhou, Ningbo, Nanjing and other regions. CICC’s “Fourteenth Five-Year” Regional Development Planning Outlook: Innovation, Urban Agglomeration and Regional Coordinated Development “report shows that, taking the new energy automobile parts manufacturing enterprises in the Yangtze River Delta region as an example, the power battery production enterprises are mainly distributed in Zhejiang Lin ‘an, Jiangsu Nantong, Anhui Wuhu and other cities; The motors are mainly distributed in Hangzhou, Shaoxing and other cities in Zhejiang Province. Automobile assembly is mainly distributed in Anhui Wuhu and other cities.
Reprint indicated source：Spark Global Limited information