Qingdao prepares to take role as key metropolis

By YUAN SHENGGAO| (China Daily)| Updated : 2022-04-22

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Coastal city in Shandong province to leverage maritime resources and further opening-up

Qingdao will endeavor to develop itself into a modern international metropolis with a competitive maritime sector and a livable environment in the next five years, according to a report presented at a recent conference in the city.

Qingdao will strive to make breakthroughs in its comprehensive strength, international level and city construction in the next five years, the report said.

Lu Zhiyuan, Party secretary of the city, delivered the report during the 13th congress of the Qingdao committee of the Communist Party of China. It was held in the coastal city of Shandong province during April 8-11, summarizing achievements that Qingdao has made and addressing the city's targets and overall work for the next five years.

Over the past five years, Qingdao witnessed rapid economic growth. The city increased its overall capacity and saw an improvement in social welfare, according to Lu.

Official data show that the city's economy achieved leapfrog development over the past five years. GDP topped 1.4 trillion yuan ($219.76 billion) in 2021, ranking 13th in the nation. Last year, its financial revenue surpassed 13 million yuan and the population grew to 10.26 million, making it eligible to become a megacity.

A modern metropolis is required to have more international cooperation, the strength to lead regional development and represent the nation's image, the report said.

As part of the city cluster on the Shandong Peninsula and a hub for the Jiaodong Economic Circle, Qingdao is a city that features opening-up and boasts the strength to compete among international metropolises, Lu said.

To achieve the goal of being an international metropolis in the new era, according to the report, efforts will be made to build Qingdao as a city featuring modern industry, maritime industry, technological innovation, an international trade portal, livable environment and modern governance.

Boosting maritime development is a common consensus. Qingdao is a coastal city and this gives the city an edge to develop the maritime sector, local officials said.

Official data show that Qingdao has 30 percent of all maritime experts in the country. The number of maritime research platforms and technologies accounted for 40 percent and 50 percent respectively of the country's total. In the past five years, the average annual growth rate of its maritime economy exceeded 10 percent.

The vision of becoming a maritime city is in line with Qingdao's development and allows it to create more new spaces, local officials said.

The report calls for efforts to promote economic growth, mobilize city resources, expand and deepen opening-up, enhance the integrated development of urban and rural areas and balance the allocation of public resources.

To further address the city's vision over the next five years, the report details actions in 10 fields. They include the real economy; technology development; reform and opening-up; regional coordinated development; rural vitalization; harmony between humans and nature; and cultural strength.

The city will establish a competitive modern industrial system by speeding up industrial transformation and upgrading, and expediting the replacement of old growth drivers with new ones, according to the report. The city also plans to focus on emerging industries, integrating the manufacturing and service industries and promoting digital transformation.

In terms of innovation, the report said the city will be constructed into an innovation metropolis by mobilizing resources and attracting more talents.

According to the report, Qingdao will be built into an international trade portal through reform and opening-up, as part of efforts to serve the new pattern of development.

Being a crucial engine for Qingdao's development, ocean resources will be utilized in the city's construction as a maritime powerhouse. It will coordinate the development of ocean and land and improve mechanisms for maritime development.

In the wake of rural vitalization across the country, Qingdao will accelerate the development of modern agriculture to ensure agricultural production, farmers' incomes and the stable development of rural areas.

In addition, the city will adhere to green and low-carbon development, prioritize ecological protection, and thus promote green transformation of socioeconomic development.

The city will also strive for a better development with a people-oriented strategy and help the people enjoy the shared benefits of common prosperity. Moreover, it will strengthen law-based governance by using its institutions to build itself into a template city of modern governance, according to the report.


A view of buildings and the sea in Shinan district of Qingdao, Shandong province. ZHANG JIANHUA/FOR CHINA DAILY


Container ships at the Qianwan Bay area of Qingdao Port, run by Shandong Port Group. CHINA DAILY


An international cruise ship docks at its home port of Qingdao. CHINA DAILY


Despite being heavily built up, Qingdao city seeks to live in harmony with its maritime environment. ZHANG JIANHUA/FOR CHINA DAILY