Huining County in the east of Gansu province. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Panoramio upload bot

China has issued guidelines to push forward the development of western regions, targeting to have socialist modernization by 2035.

By the end of 2020, the western regions as a whole will see the ecological, business, opening-up and innovation environment substantially improved, according to a document issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council. The regions will continue to strive to promote high-quality development.

By 2035, the western regions’ public service level, infrastructure connectivity and people’s living standards will be on par with the eastern regions, the document said.

Achieving western development is of great practical and profound historical significance to completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and embarking on a journey to fully build a modern socialist China, it said.

With winning the “three tough battles” as a top priority, the country said it should consistently improve innovation capabilities, promote the building of a modern industrial system as well as to optimize the supply and demand structure of power sources.

The “three tough battles” refer to the central government’s efforts in preventing financial risks, reducing poverty and tackling pollution.

Efforts will also be made to bolster the integrated development of urban and rural areas, reinforce infrastructure building as well as safeguard the national security and social stability.

To further step up the opening-up in western regions, the document stressed following the guidance of jointly building the Belt and Road. The country said it would strengthen the building of transport channels and opening-up platforms while developing an open economy at the high-level and expanding regional cooperation, the document said.

5G base stations

The number of 5G base stations in use across China has exceeded 200,000, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

China has hit the “fast-forward” button on the construction of internet infrastructure, with 4G users registering 128 million, ranking first in the world, said Chen Zhaoxiong, vice-minister of the MIIT.

Chen also noted that the burgeoning digital economy has now become a new growth driver, accounting for more than one-third of China’s gross domestic product.

China Mobile, one of the country’s leading telecom operators, said it will have more than 300,000 5G base stations by the end of 2020. Another leading telecom operator, China Unicom, said it would work with China Telecom to finish construction on 250,000 5G base stations across the country by the end of this year.

Property prices in Shenzhen

Prices of residential properties in the secondary market rose 10.3% year-on-year in Shenzhen in April, while some other Chinese cities recorded 1-2% growth, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Economists said property prices in Shenzhen have regained an upward momentum since the central government announced on August 18, 2019, its plan to build the southern Guangdong city into a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The decision made by the Shenzhen government last November to waive the value-added tax for homebuyers also helped fuel market sentiment, according to some property agencies. As sales of new homes were suspended earlier this year due to the Covid-19 epidemic, people in Shenzhen focused on properties in the secondary market.

Meanwhile, China continued to see a generally stable housing market in April, with home prices in 70 major cities showing milder month-on-month increases. Last month, new home prices rose by 0.2% month-on-month in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, 0.5% in the second-tier cities and 0.6% in the third-tier cities.

Company news

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the largest offshore oil and gas producer in China, and Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s leading energy and petrochemical conglomerate, signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement worth US$5.6 billion on Sunday.

Representatives in Guangzhou, the capital city of south China’s Guangdong Province, Beijing and The Hague signed the agreement via 5G video link. The new cooperation, based on the CNOOC and Shell Petrochemical Co Ltd, is the CNOOC and Shell Huizhou phase III ethylene project.

With an estimated annual output value of 38.2 billion yuan (US$5.4 billion), the project is scheduled to start construction in the city of Huizhou in Guangdong Province in 2021. Founded in 2000, the CNOOC and Shell Petrochemical Company Limited is one of the largest chemical joint ventures of Royal Dutch Shell in China.

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com said its net revenue rose 20.7% to 146.2 billion yuan in the first quarter from a year ago. Net revenue from sales of general merchandise increased 38.2% to 52.5 billion yuan for the period.

JD.com’s annual active customer accounts registered a 24.8% year-on-year growth to 387.4 million at the end of March from a year earlier while its average daily number of active mobile users surged 46%. The company expected its net revenue in the second quarter to range between 180 billion and 195 billion yuan, representing a year-on-year growth rate of between 20% and 30%.  

The story was written by Xu Jiangsan and Nadeem Xu  and first published at ATimesCN.com

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