Xiongan; Putin to Attend Belt-Road Summit: Eye on Chinese MediaBloomberg News
The official Xinhua News Agency published a long article detailing the creation of the Xiongan New Area, an economic zone south of Beijing that was announced April 1. The decision was made after about four years of planning and research under instructions from President Xi Jinping. The goal is to fashion the sparsely populated corner of Hebei province after Shenzhen or Shanghai’s Pudong, though it won’t duplicate those models. Instead it aims for a fresh new path, in part to help Beijing relocate some residents and official functions, Xinhua said.
- The economy is off a to good start in the first quarter, but regional divides remain, People’s Daily reported, citing a spokesman for the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner. The rust-belt northeastern regions and some industrial cities in the central and western regions have been struggling.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed he will attend the Belt and Road summit in Beijing on May 14-15, Xinhua reported. Putin made the remarks when meeting with visiting Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, who said Chinese leaders have reached consensus with Putin to integrate Xi’s ambitious plan with Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union.
- The population of Beijing’s six central areas fell by about 353,000 last year, the first decline on record, according to People’s Daily’s website, which cited the municipal bureau of statistics. Beijing plans to cap the population of the broader direct-controlled municipality, which has provincial status, at 23 million by 2020 and to reduce the population of the six core districts by 15 percent from 2014 levels.
— With assistance by Miao Han