China's top economic planner is working with local governments on a plan to boost the economic integration of Beijing and its surrounding areas, namely Tianjin Municipality and Hebei Province. Together, the three zones form the economic engine of northern China.
In recent years, Beijing has suffered from overcrowding, air pollution, high housing prices and traffic jams. The new development plan will see Beijing relocate less important industries and divert population to neighboring cities in Hebei.
Cities involved include Baoding, Zhangjiakou, Chengde, Langfang, and Tangshan. The regional integration would make Tianjin and Hebei "satellite" areas of Beijing.
In the next three years, 1,200 polluting factories will be relocated to Hebei and Tianjin. Meanwhile, a big number of highways and high-speed railways will be built.(CNTV.cn June 9, 2014)