CGTN: China’s northeast region to advance revitalization via tech innovation

BEIJING, Sept. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — “We have full confidence in and expectation for the comprehensive revitalization of the northeast in the new era,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping during an inspection tour in China’s northeast region in August last year.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Xi has made multiple visits to the northeast region and hosted several symposiums deliberating the comprehensive revitalization of the region, illustrating the importance the Chinese president has attached to the area.

The northeast region, encompassing Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, has made great strides towards economic revitalization, an achievement Xi approved of on Friday during another tour in Heilongjiang Province. He also stressed the need to further advance technological innovation, which is key to promoting important industries in the region.

Building upon the region’s existing industrial foundation, it must diligently advance the high-quality development of advanced manufacturing, expedite the upgrading of traditional industries and harness the augmentative power of technological innovation, which involves a continuous optimization of the economic and industrial structure, Xi said.

The region boasts a cluster of strategic industries that hold paramount importance for both the national economy and security. It offers substantial room for development and harbors immense potential, actively contributing to the expeditious establishment of a contemporary industrial ecosystem.

A rising share of high-tech industries within the region’s internal economic framework has marked promising signs of resurgence in the region. In the first half of this year, the value-added output of high-tech manufacturing in Heilongjiang’s industrial sector increased by 18 percent year-on-year, surpassing the national average by 16.3 percentage points. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector saw a 15.7 percent year-on-year growth in value-added output, while the aerospace and equipment manufacturing sector recorded a remarkable 24.2 percent increase.

This trend signifies that the industrial transformation is entering a phase of accelerated growth with the capacity to engender a multitude of fresh catalysts for advancement. In the meantime, the commencement of a slew of new projects in the three provinces has signaled a positive response to the government’s expansion of market access, which corresponds to Xi’s remarks on Friday.

“We should better coordinate trade, investment, transportation, and platform construction, boldly explore and pioneer in aspects such as market access, factor mobility, and institutional openness, and create a comprehensive new pattern of opening-up to the outside world,” Xi said.

In Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning, over 730 projects worth more than 100 million yuan ($13.6 million) were launched in the first half of this year, marking a year-on-year increase of 14.5 percent. Notably, international and domestic giants such as BMW and EVE Energy intensified their presence in the industrial city, focusing on the electric vehicle sector and expanding their investments. The total investment from these companies reached tens of billions of yuan.

In Jilin, the construction progress of several “mega-projects” focusing on new energy and ecological restoration is also accelerating. From January to July, the province attracted 233 projects worth more than 1 billion yuan, representing a growth in investment of 23.7 percent.

The northeast region is also known for being an agricultural hub in China, which Xi said should be the bedrock for guaranteeing the country’s food security.

The region needs to give greater prominence to the development of agricultural technology while simultaneously promoting technology-driven agriculture, environmentally friendly agriculture, quality agriculture and branded agriculture, he said.

In Lishu County, which was once visited by Xi, an exemplar of the region’s development of technology-driven agriculture has been on full display. Located in Jilin, a major commodity grain base, the county has transformed traditional tillage into a process that exhaustively conserves black soil, which is key to the province’s grain production. Over the past three years, the tillage areas under “the Lishu model” have been doubled to 3 million mu (200,000 hectares), contributing to an agricultural output of 81.6 billion jin (40 million tonnes) in Jilin in 2022, a record high.

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