China is grappling with a slowing economy, and it knows a key to arresting the decline is the rejuvenation of its northeastern region, which has been the worst performer.
In recent years, the growth clip of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang constantly rank among the slowest of all provinces. In the first three quarters of 2015, Jilin grew a mere 2.7 percent.
The region has been suffering from population drain, budget deficit, excess industrial capacity and weak investment. They now have a term for it: The new northeastern syndrome.
The good news is, right before the year ended, Beijing finally released its plan to make the region a major contributor to the overall economy, suggesting more supportive measures are in the pipeline.
According to the plan, Beijing wants to convert the heavy industry base into an advanced equipment manufacturing hub and a main source of new materials.
Although the region is plagued with aging production facilities and overreliance on a few industries, including the auto, steel, metallurgy and petrochemical, it still boasts the highest number of technicians per capita across the nation.
If this currently most battered region can pull off the reform, it could become the fastest growing regional powerhouse in the next five to 10 years.
Whether northeastern China is the most risky or has the most potential depends on whether you look at its present situation or its future possibilities.
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