The coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong province [Photo/Sipa]
East China's Shandong province recently launched guidelines to facilitate the development of larger city clusters in the province in order to boost regional cooperation and coordinated development.
The province aims to build a global influential urban agglomeration on the Shandong Peninsula, foster Qingdao and Jinan into "national center cities" and cultivate three economic circles.
The provincial capital economic circle includes Jinan, the provincial capital, and six neighboring cities – Zibo, Tai'an, Liaocheng, Dezhou, Binzhou, and Dongying. The economic circle aims to build a demonstration area for ecological protection and high-quality development in the Yellow River Basin, a regional pilot area for the conversion of growth drivers, and an example in cultural cooperation and exchange.
The Jiaodong Economic Circle, including Qingdao, Yantai, Weihai, Weifang and Rizhao, is positioned as an important shipping and trade center, financial center, and a demonstration area for marine economy.
The southern Shandong economic circle includes Linyi, Zaozhuang, Jining and Heze. It is designed as a pilot area for rural revitalization and transformation development and an economic belt in the Huaihe River Basin.
Guan Zhaoquan, deputy director of the Shandong Development and Reform Commission, said that the construction of the three economic circles is a key task this year. It will promote regional infrastructure connectivity, joint governance of ecological and environmental protection, coordinated industrial innovation, integrated development of cultural and tourism and cooperation in opening up, all of which will boost the province's development.