China unveils policies to revitalize northeast [Xinhua]
BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) — The Chinese central government announced an action plan to assist the northeast region’s staggering economy with a list of new measures.
The plan aims to free up private businesses, deepen reforms of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), develop modern agriculture, renovate urban rundown areas and launch dozens of infrastructure projects in the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, according to the new measures announced Tuesday.
The 35 new measures, listed in a document by the State Council on its website, came as the northeastern regions saw the slowest economic growth among China’s provincial areas during the first half of this year.
China will speed up the construction of eight rail lines and build or expand 10 regional airports in the region, the document said.
SOEs are encouraged to sell part of their equities to private and foreign investors to build a mixed ownership system and pay for the reforms.
A new state-owned regional investment company will be established to hasten the reorganization of poorly run SOEs in the region, the document said.
The central government will support emerging industries including robotics, gas turbines, advanced marine engineering equipment and integrated circuits, as well as expanding the service industry of the region.
For traditional sectors such as agriculture, the document said the northeast provinces’ status as a core grain production base will be strengthened. Grain storage and logistical facilities will be improved.
The central government will fund the building of affordable housing and grain logistics facilities, included in a 60-billion-yuan (9.7 billion U.S. dollars) new credit reserve for shanty town renovation by the China Development Bank.
The document also named a few power transmission projects, nuclear power plant projects and heating projects to be initiated as part of a clean energy network in the region.
Once China’s industrial base, the northeast provinces relied heavily on SOEs to drive local economy but they fell short of the national economic growth of 7.4 percent in the first half of the year, with Heilongjiang’s GDP ranking at the bottom with an increase of just 4.8 percent during the period.