China has announced the establishment of a new city in Hebei province that will serve as “a choice of historic significance for the development of the next millennium.”
The new area, called Xiongan, is about 100 kilometers from Beijing and Tianjin, rounding up the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. It basically aims to be an international city on par with global standards.
According to Global Times, Xiongan is currently an underdeveloped area but holds great potential for development. It houses Baiyangdian, which happens to be among the largest freshwater wetlands in northern China with over 140 lakes that cover an area of 360 square kilometers (139 square miles).
Xiongan is expected to cover a total area of 2,000 square kilometers. As per China Daily, a circular released by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council noted that the area will feature “geological advantages, convenient transportation, an excellent ecological environment, ample resources and lots of room for development.”
He Lifeng, head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, highlighted “Chinese characteristics,” “innovation,” “international standards” and “reform” in the government’s plan, Xinhua reported.
Set to host the non-capital functions of Beijing, Xiongan follows the examples of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and Shanghai’s Pudong New Area, established in 1980 and 1991, respectively. It will cover three counties under the administration of Hebei’s Baoding, namely Anxin, Rongcheng and Xiongxian.
Investors immediately flocked to the area after the announcement on Saturday. Some even spent their night outside the offices of property agents, Bloomberg said. However, the government banned property sales shortly.
By Monday, real estate agents in Xiongxian closed their doors, Reuters noted.