Progress of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei's integrated development
By Yuan Yuan  ·  2024-03-12  ·   Source: NO.11 MARCH 14, 2024
(Above) Aerial photo of the Baodi Beijing-Tianjin Zhongguancun Science Town on December 31, 2018; The Baodi Beijing-Tianjin Zhongguancun Science Town on February 22 (XINHUA)

Every year, Ye Tanglin and his team from the Capital University of Economics and Business spend four months conducting field research in Beijing and its neighboring Tianjin Municipality and Hebei Province. This academic year, Ye had begun his work well before the term got underway, carefully planning a packed research schedule.

Serving as the executive deputy director of the research project on the integrated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, also known as Jing-Jin-Ji, Ye is among the pioneering members initiating this project at the university in 2007. "We serve as a think tank, offering insights and recommendations for national strategies and the advancement of regional development," he told Xinhua News Agency.

The project aims to explore the potential for integrated development within this tri-region area. This initiative took on greater significance as the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei ascended to the level of a national strategy in 2014, seven years after the project's commencement.

Charting the course

In 2007, when the research on this project initially began, one of the challenges faced was the disconnected roads at the borders of the regions. Traveling less than 200 km from Beijing to a county in Hebei could take several hours.

Additionally, the youth population dwindled in some of Hebei's counties has many moved to larger cities like Beijing for job opportunities.

Ye has been focusing on promoting industrial synergy between Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei for their coordinated development. His team suggested creating a channel for transferring innovative projects from Beijing to Tianjin and Hebei.

They recommended expediting the establishment of high-level science and technology cooperation bases in the science parks around Beijing and Tianjin to facilitate the transfer of achievements and boost Hebei's self-sustaining economic and industrial regeneration.

In 2014, the coordinated development strategy for the region was elevated to a national strategy. Following this development, the team contributed to the creation of more than 10 industrial synergy plans for the region, addressing key areas such as the development of the digital economy and the integration of industrial chains.

Furthermore, their annual publications on industrial development across Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei have been consistently released for 12 years.

Shi Xiaodong, chief planner for the Beijing Municipal Commission of Planning and Natural Resources and Director of the Beijing Institute of City Planning and Design, has played a pivotal role in drafting the comprehensive plan for the tri-region since it was recognized as a national strategic


With ancestral roots in Hebei, Shi was born in Beijing and pursued his higher education in Tianjin. His significant contributions to the drafting and execution of major strategic plans have been underscored by his leadership in conducting thorough analyses and research on a variety of factors including demographics, land use, and the conservation of ancient trees.

The coordinated development plan for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region was released in June 2015, marking a significant milestone. This was followed by the approval of Beijing's master city plan in September 2017. Said plan is a comprehensive urban development blueprint for Beijing, covering land use, transportation, environmental protection, infrastructure, and social development. It sets a long-term vision for the city's growth and aims to guide its sustainable development in the years ahead.

Additionally, the planning framework for Xiongan New Area, an emerging new area in Hebei, and the management plan for Beijing's city sub-center in Tongzhou District were also ratified. These initiatives focus on the strategic redistribution of non-capital functions from Beijing to these two wings of the capital to support their development.

"I believe the most crucial aspect of the coordinated development planning concept is that it goes beyond just Beijing and outlines the capital's functional layout across a broader scope," Shi explained. "It promotes balanced and sustainable development for the entire region at the national level."

According to data from the National Development and Reform Commission, over the last decade, Beijing has successfully phased out more than 3,000 general manufacturing enterprises, streamlined and upgraded close to 1,000 regional professional markets and logistics centers, and reduced the amount of urban and rural construction land by 130 square km.

These initiatives have led to a 15-percent reduction in the permanent population in Beijing's six inner urban districts compared to the 2014 figures.

Additionally, the total economic output of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region has surged to 10.4 trillion yuan ($1.45 trillion), 1.9 times the amount recorded in 2013 in nominal terms.

From blueprint to reality

The industrial synergy in the region has made significant progress, exemplified by the development of the Baodi Beijing-Tianjin Zhongguancun Science Town in Tianjin.

This project represents the first expansion of the Zhongguancun Science Park, Beijing's iconic science and technology hub, beyond the capital. With over 1,500 business entities to date, nearly 80 percent of the industrial land projects are hi-tech enterprises, underscoring China's technological advancement.

"This initiative has transformed 14.5 square km of rural land into a hub of collaboration and innovation," Wang Hao, Deputy Mayor of Baodi District in Tianjin, told Xinhua News Agency. As he drove off the highway and entered the Baodi urban area in 2012, he was struck by the large expanse of villages.

Wang, who has been closely involved with the area's transformation since his appointment in 2012 after obtaining a Ph.D. in world history from Peking University, witnessed the dramatic changes firsthand.

The pivotal moment came in 2013 with the signing of the initial cooperation agreement between the Baodi District Government and Zhongguancun Science Park. Drawing on his deep understanding of Beijing's science and innovation resources, Wang played a crucial role in facilitating this partnership, laying the groundwork for the remarkable transformation that would follow.

"Previously, collaborations between Zhongguancun and other regions primarily focused on exporting the brand and park management expertise," Wang said.

"This particular cooperation, though, from the get-go set out to cultivate an innovation ecosystem and establish an industrial base for the commercialization of Zhongguancun's scientific and technological innovations."

The investment in the town has now reached approximately 17.6 billion yuan ($2.4 billion), reflecting the commitment to this vision. "We anticipate that, once the area reaches full operational capacity, the projects will contribute an annual tax revenue of 1.1 billion yuan ($153 million) and create nearly 10,000 local jobs," he said.

On November 29, 2023, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Industrial Chain and Supply Chain Conference took place in Beijing, resulting in 152 intended signing projects with the intended investment amount exceeding 100 billion yuan ($13.9 billion).

Wang observed the growing recognition of the Beijing-Tianjin Zhongguancun Science Town during a recent business trip to Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province.

"Traditionally, our projects have mainly originated in Beijing. Now, we're seeing interest from businesses in the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta regions, which are considering us as a potential location for their northern regional headquarters," he said.

Copyedited by Elsbeth van Paridon

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