Pioneering Zhongshan pursuing quality development, seizing strategic opportunities

ZHONGSHAN, China, Nov. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — All sectors of society in China commemorated the 153rd anniversary of Sun Yat-sen’s birth in various forms on November 12, 2019. A memorial ceremony of the great national hero, who pioneered China’s democratic revolution, was held in the Museum of the Former Residence of Dr. Sun Yat-sen in Zhongshan, a city of South China’s Guangdong Province and the hometown of the patriot. About 200 leading figures attended the event, according to the Publicity Department of the CPC Zhongshan Municipal Committee.

To the east of the city lies Lingdingyang, whose waters are still warm in the early winter. At the construction site of the Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge, engineers are busy working and the machines humming.

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has become more coordinated in its development, and the support for Shenzhen to build the pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics has become more concrete, as the construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge brings closer the coastal area of the South China Sea and both sides of the Pearl River. Against the backdrop, Zhongshan has continued its tradition of taking the lead while seizing historical and strategic opportunities of building the two areas for its long-term development. The city aims at underpinning the integrated development of both sides of the Pearl River as a hub of the coastal economic belt and a vital force for the Bay Area.

Pioneering reform and opening up and the Bay Area integration

In the early years of reform and opening up, the courageous Zhongshan people led China in foreign cooperation and reforming rural institutions, making the city one of the "Four Guangdong Tigers" spearheading economic development. For years Zhongshan has been among leading economies in Guangdong, though it comprises a mere 1% of the province’s total land area with 3% of the provincial permanent population.

Now, Zhongshan is home to three industrial clusters worth a hundred billion yuan each: equipment manufacturing, electronic information and home appliances. Beyond that, it has 18 featured towns specializing in industries ranging from lighting (Guzhen) and hardware (Xiaolan) to mahogany furniture (Dachong) and gaming and recreational equipment (Gangkou), 38 state-level industrial bases and 516 brands at provincial level or above. All these have made it one of the cities with most improved industrial chain in the Greater Bay Area.

While vigorous progress is made in building the two areas, Zhongshan accommodates and utilizes fine resources by connecting to neighboring cities.

More and more people from Hong Kong and Macao have come to the city for living and starting businesses. "The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Incubation Area of e-Park in Zhongshan has become a hotspot for young entrepreneurs, with over 20 Hong Kong and Macao youth projects launched here," said Li Zhihong, a post-90s young entrepreneur who runs Zhihong Media Company in e-Park, "and there are designated offices in Zhongshan offering incredible services to Hong Kong and Macao residents."

The city also plans to invest 150 billion yuan in developing a multi-dimensional transport system that comprises rails, highways and expressways, and ports and piers. This will help the city build into an essential transportation hub for the west of the Bay Area, ensuring that it takes 30 minutes from Zhongshan to major cities in the Pearl River Delta, and one hour to Hong Kong and Macao. It is foreseeable that the free flow of people, goods and information will soon be realized.

Ma’an Island, a budding modern costal town is now emerging in Zhongshan. It will be built into a modern and innovative international urban center. It is where the Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge starts and is surrounded by five airports, four deep-water ports, and three free trade areas. High-quality living environment, education and health care have made it more attractive.

To the north of Ma’an Island lies the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Primary School, which began operation this September. Besides that, the Zhongshan University of Science and Technology, upon its completion, will be key to cultivating talents for industrial development of the west bank of the Pearl River.

High-quality growth for a new round of innovation-driven development

To join the global innovative community and strengthen its capability to innovate, Zhongshan has carried out a host of measures to attract talents and high-tech companies, including: Cooperating with SkyDeck, an accelerator program of UC Berkeley, to launch the Global Founders Program in Zhongshan, which gives startups access to the international accelerator while connecting prime innovation resources worldwide;

Co-establish the HRG Institute (Zhongshan) of unmanned equipment and Artificial Intelligence, Zhongshan Institute of Materia Medica Innovation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Zhongshan) Innovation Center;

Planning for Zhongshan Photon Science Center and other facilities.

Its closer cooperation with major institutions has further advanced scientific and technological innovation and high-quality development. The city is seeing an influx of high-end resources from across the globe and an improved environment for innovation and entrepreneurship. Evidently, with strong impetus for creation follows vigorous development.

Today’s Zhongshan is home to more than 2,300 high-tech companies and leads many prefecture-level cities in the index of urban scientific and technological innovation and development.

While stepping up scientific and technological innovation, Zhongshan is building an international center for scientific and technological innovation and a base for commercializing innovation outcomes to achieve high-quality economic growth.

The Global Urban Competitiveness Report 2019-2020, jointly released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the United Nations for Human Settlements Programme on November 13, 2019, has ranked Zhongshan 21st in China and 149th worldwide by such criteria as economic competitiveness, sustainable development competitiveness, and urban rating.

With the task shifting from leading China in growing prosperous to pursuing high-quality development, Zhongshan is creating a new landscape of innovation-driven development with continued efforts by seizing opportunities and maintaining the enterprising spirit.

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