As the capital, Beijing has been at the forefront of China's reform and opening up, realizing substantial economic and social development over the past 40 years.
In 2017, Beijing's GDP reached 2.8 trillion yuan ($405.9 billion), 41.2 times that in 1978, realizing a 10-percent year-on-year increase on average. Beijing's economic structure has evolved from one dominated by industries to a services-based one.
When President Xi Jinping inspected Beijing in February 2014, he projected the goal of making Beijing a world-class harmonious and livable capital.
However, Beijing still faces many challenges in realizing the goal. The problems Beijing is encountering in its development have resulted from its redundant functions. Functions nonessential to its role as the capital should be removed. In recent years, a number of manufacturing companies, wholesale markets and logistics centers have been moved out of Beijing, which has laid a foundation for building a livable city.
Beijing has also made progress in environmental protection, with its forest coverage rate increasing from 12.8 percent in 1980 to 43 percent in 2017, coming closer to becoming an environmentally friendly city suitable for living.
However, to realize its initiative to build a world-class harmonious livable city, Beijing will continue to improve urban management to enable local residents to reap more benefits.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article originally published in Beijing Youth Daily on December 17)