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'No talk of deputy political center' in Baoding

By Zheng Jinran in Shijiazhuang | China Daily | Updated: 2014-03-20 07:41

A senior official in Hebei province who is leading economic coordination of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region denied a rumor on Wednesday that Baoding is the first choice to be the deputy political center after Beijing.

Chen Yongjiu, head of the Hebei Provincial Development and Reform Commission, said it's impossible to select another city as the deputy political center.

The governments of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province as well as related departments of the central government have been working together to locate the functions of the three for regional cooperation, based on documents guiding the regional development, Chen said.

"But one thing is for sure. There has been no discussion of a 'deputy political center', since Beijing is the political center, which will never be changed," he said.

Chen Jianjun, with the Beijing Municipal Commission of City Planning, also said the commission has not heard of such a plan.

According to a report from Caijing.com.cn on Wednesday, Baoding, in Hebei province, has been preliminarily considered to be the first choice for a deputy political center, sharing the political function of Beijing, which is the agreement reached by the three governments.

The report also said some public institutions under ministries and educational institutions will be among the first to move to the capital's southern neighbor. The people involved in the move will keep their permanent residence in Beijing to reduce possible opposition, it said.

Other cities of Hebei surrounding the capital, such as Zhangjiakou, Chengde and Langfang, have been listed in the selection, but the location of Baoding is a major reason to make the city the first choice as deputy political center, the report said.

It is a similar distance from both Beijing and Tianjin, and it stands halfway between Beijing and Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province. It is also the geographical center of the province.

Thus, such a nomination for the city would greatly fuel the economic growth of Hebei province, according to the report.

The central government has called for integrated and coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei. Since then, Hebei has pushed forward the coordination quickly. For example, the 13 cities and counties surrounding the capital will share the same telephone code as Beijing for smooth communication.

Besides, Baoding set up an office in Beijing on Monday for heading the coordination of work among the city and the two municipalities in the triangle zone.

Wang Bo, director of the new office, said it will promote cooperation, support the projects introduced to the city, and provide other services.



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