Date
11 December 2017
China plans to improve highway links between Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. Photo: Bloomberg
China plans to improve highway links between Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. Photo: Bloomberg

China unveils Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei highway plan

China plans to speed up highway links between Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province to turn the area into a single megalopolis, the so-called Jing-Jin-Ji region, the 21st Century Business Herald reported Thursday.

Gao Jinhao, Hebei’s transport bureau chief, was quoted as saying that under the blueprint, cities in the region will be connected by fast train and each county will be linked by express highway.

The region covers more than 50 counties and is home to 150 million people.

The upgrades will cut highway travel time between Beijing, Tianjin and Shijiazhuang, the Hebei capital, to one hour, and the travel time from these three cities to other smaller cities to around half an hour, the report said.

Hebei has the most to gain from the integration plan, as it lags far behind the other two in terms of economic development. Beijing’s per capita GDP is US$15,000, while Tianjin’s is US$11,500 and Hebei’s only US$6,300, according to official data.

Hebei still has much to do to ensure its transport infrastructure can be integrated into the plan, according to local officials.

Observers said the integration push improve infrastructure in Hebei, enriching Tianjin’s industrial mix, and ease Beijing’s urban crush.

If successful, the region will join the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta as a regional growth driver.

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JZ/JP/SK

Freelance journalist

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