China to push forward development of Xiongan new district

BEIJING (Reuters) - A new special economic zone in China should create a template for high-quality development, with a focus on the environment and building a “smart” city, state radio said Thursday citing the Politburo.

Important progress has been made in the planning for the zone, known as Xiongan New Area, said the Politburo, a top decision-making body of the ruling Communist Party, while calling for deeper and more comprehensive plans for the new city.

“Research and propose measures for more rapid reform and opening of Xiongan as soon as possible, and begin large scale infrastructure projects at an appropriate time,” the Politburo said.

President Xi Jinping in April announced the launch of the Xiongan New Area, and it has been called a thousand-year project and compared to Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, which helped kickstart economic reforms in 1980, by state media.

The zone is about 100 km (60 miles) southwest of Beijing and is expected to take over some “non-capital” functions of Beijing, with firms and industries expected to be moved down to the new area.

Reporting by Elias Glenn