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Premier calls for Yangtze economic belt

30 April 2014
Chairing a recent meeting in Chongqing, Premier Li Keqiang discussed building an economic belt along the Yangtze River to underpin country’s sustainable economic development. Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli also attended the meeting, said Xinhua.

Officials from the National Development and Reform Commission reported on plans for the economic belt, which will involve 11 regions including Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, Chongqing, Yunnan and Guizhou.

Three sections in the Yangtze River economic belt are expected to be developed: the delta, city clusters along the central course and the Chengdu-Chongqing economic zone, according to Premier Li.

The premier said that developing the Yangtze Economic Belt is a strategic move of the central government, with the aim to reform industrial structure, and consolidate and co-ordinate economic development in a sustainable way between the eastern, middle and western parts of the country. He highlighted ecological safety and warned against pollution problems caused by the shift of industry from the coast to inland regions.

Though the Yangtze River is an established and increasingly important transport artery, it still has remarkable potential, he said, urging more efforts to improve the river’s transport capacity. He said that Yangtze shipping has an important role to play. Money will be spent on dredging, vessel standardisation and ultimately increasing shipping capacity. He said concerted efforts will be made to build a comprehensive transport network with shipping, rail, road, air, and oil pipelines.

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