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Liu Shijin

One Belt and One Road Initiatives: A New Development Pattern for Coordinated Regional Development

2015-08-10

By Wang Hui, Almanac of China's Economy

The "One Belt and One Road" initiatives (i.e. the development of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road)not only helps enhance the external environment for China's development, but also significantly promotes the drive to optimize regional development pattern and advance regional development, which is expected to infuse fresh vitality to steady and sound economic development under the new normal. Restrained by resource endowments, some issues related to the present developmental stage as well as relevant structural and institutional factors, some prominent problems still face coordinated regional development: 1. Regional development is imbalanced and vast difference exists in development quality; 2.There is great similarity of industrial structure between regions; 3. Concentrated population and economy are mismatched with the carrying capacity of resources and the environment; 4. There lacks a complete coordinated regional development mechanism. By implementing the three major strategies of the "One Belt and One Road" initiatives, the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Yangtze River Economic Belt development project, it will generally optimize and strategically enhance the country’s regional development pattern and produce the following effects. 1. The economy of central and western regions will be further promoted through opening up to the outside world; 2. New growth poles will be formed; 3. Interconnectivity between regions will be remarkably reinforced; 4. Coordinated regional development will be extended to wider areas. Meanwhile, the "One Belt and One Road" strategy will deepen reform and innovation and help create a new pattern for coordinated regional development. Efforts should be made toward this end: 1. Accelerate the formation of a new system for the inland open economy; 2. Strive to improve the mechanism of coordinated regional development; 3. Vigorously promote equal access to basic public services between regions; 4. Proactively establish a mechanism for regional cooperation on ecology and environmental protection.