Wed, 29 Sep 2021

BEIJING, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- With a solid economic foundation, China's central region boasts great development potential as it pursues high-quality development, a senior official said Monday.

Cong Liang, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, told a press conference that central China enjoys robust growth momentum and can achieve high-quality development.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), the region recorded an average annual economic growth rate of 8.6 percent, ranking first among the four regions in the country, Cong said. The area sustained its economic growth in the first half of this year, with its total gross domestic product reaching 11.8 trillion yuan (about 1.83 trillion U.S. dollars).

The country's central region includes Shanxi, Anhui, Jiangxi, Henan, Hubei and Hunan provinces. Its permanent population is nearly 365 million, accounting for more than a quarter of China's total.

In July, the country issued a guideline on promoting the high-quality development of the region in the new era, detailing measures to promote the area's economic growth, scientific and technological innovation, urbanization, green development, opening-up and people's well-being.

Deng Xiangyang, vice governor of Anhui Province, said the provincial government would leverage its advantages in technological innovation and contribute to the development of the whole region.

Building on its current technology edges, Anhui would strive to break new ground in cutting-edge technologies such as quantum information, thermonuclear fusion, and advanced light sources while building itself into an influential technological innovation center, said Deng.

Yin Meigen, vice governor of Jiangxi, said the province would promote opening-up at a higher level. The province, neighboring the opening-up vanguards of Zhejiang and Guangdong, pledged efforts to build its open economy pilot zone with high standards and quality. It also vowed to optimize its business environment and make full use of national development strategies like the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development.

Shanxi, a coal-rich province, puts its focus on the reform of the energy industry. It would double down on meeting carbon-emission intensity targets set by the central government, improve energy supply quality, and cut pollution and carbon emissions in key areas, said Vice Governor Wei Tao.

According to the July guideline, the region should put a modern economic system in place by 2035, basically accomplish socialist modernization, and make substantial headway in common prosperity.

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