China’s State Council, or the Cabinet, has approved a plan to establish the Zhoushan Archipelago New Area in southeastern Zhejiang Province, local authorities said Thursday.
It will be the country’s fourth state-level new district after Pudong New Area in Shanghai Municipality, Binhai New Area in Tianjin Municipality and Liangjiang New Area in Chongqing Municipality, Zhejiang provincial governor Lu Zushan said at a press conference.
The New Area, covering all of Zhoushan City with 1,440 square kilometers of land area and 20,800 square kilometers of inland sea, is planned to be built into a pioneer area in leading oceanic economic development as well as an important new growth engine for the Yangtze River Delta economic zones, Lu said.
“It is the first time for the country to set up a new district themed with the oceanic economy at the state level,” said Fan Hengshan, director of the National Development and Reform Commission’s regional economy division.
Fan said the Zhoushan Archipelago New Area will help enhance the country’s oceanic economy, expand its marine development strategy, and promote the ability to integrate global resources to secure the national economy.
According to Lu, the New Area will become a trade center for the storage, transportation and processing of bulk commodity, an important gateway on the eastern seaboard, a comprehensive demonstration zone for island protection and development, a modern ocean industrial base, and a pilot region for integrating land and sea resources.
The local government will also work to improve the layout of the New Area, step up policies to create a favorable environment, and create measures to protect the marine environment while exploring economic growth, Lu said.
Zhoushan, the country’s only prefecture-level administrative city based on islands, fosters an oceanic economic system mainly supported by port logistics, coastal industries, marine tourism and fisheries. Comprising 1,390 islands, it has an approximately 280-kilometer-long deep-water coastline, taking up 18.4 percent of the country’s total.