The Understanding China Conference 2020, one of the most influential platforms for the world to learn about China’s development strategy, closed on November 22 in Guangzhou. It is the second time Guangzhou hosted the event, making the city an important window through which to observe China’s new journey toward modernization.
To understand China starts with a good understanding of Chinese cities. At this year’s Conference, Guangzhou, a historical city with new vitality and fresh impetus emerging as a megacity, garnered great attention from all present, with many expecting to refer to the experience it gains in pursuing development.
At the conference, delegates from home and abroad spoke highly of the inspiring adaptability of Guangzhou, as seen from its synergy-oriented connectivity with Shenzhen, the urban revitalization drive in its comprehensive function, cultural appeal, service and global business environment, and the city’s accelerated quality efforts in promoting the provincial goal for coordinated development of the Pearl River delta as the core engine, the coastal eastern and western parts of Guangdong as new growth poles, and the mountainous northern part as ecological development zone.
Officials from Guangzhou said that Guangzhou would seize new opportunities to pursue transformation and upgrading and turn the negative impact of the pandemic into new drivers for economic transformation to sustain quality economic growth.
In the face of the pandemic and the complex economic situation, Guangzhou, as an international business and trade hub, is now reshaping its development paradigm by exploring new opportunities to secure its new advantages, development areas and growth drivers. This same historical city of commerce is going all out with great courage and efficiency to revitalize itself and help create a happy and prosperous everyday life for its residents.
Li Junru, executive vice president of the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy, expressed his high hopes for the city at the conference. He pointed out that historically China’s national rejuvenation can be traced back to Guangzhou and the changes of the city reflect the development of the country. “The shift of China’s economic center to the south and the further progress in developing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area are both providing greater space for development,” Li added.
Li’s view can be proved with economic statistics and actual achievements. Data for the first three quarters of the year show that Guangzhou’s growth of multiple indicators of Guangzhou’s growth including regional GDP have turned from negative to positive with a 1.0% year-on-year increase and, in particular, an impressive 7.9% year-on-year increase in the third quarter, 7.0 percentage points up from the second quarter.
“Guangzhou’s economic recovery is gathering momentum as production continues to pick up while demand continues to increase. New growth drivers are going strong, people’s livelihood well safeguarded and leading indicators keep improving to positive or hitting new highs since the outbreak of the epidemic,” said Feng Jun, deputy chief of Guangzhou Statistics Bureau.
“As a pioneer in reform and opening-up, Guangzhou serves as a window for the rest of the world to understand China’s such endeavor. And this millennia-old city is now renewing itself. A key to understanding China is figuring out how this city pursues urban regeneration,” Zheng Yongnian, dean of the Advanced Institute of Global and Contemporary China Studies, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen addressed the Conference.
As the coronavirus is brought under control, China and its cities are returning to usual boom and buzz. At this critical transition, Guangzhou, a city of history and vitality, is once again, through this Understanding China Conference, facilitating a better understanding of this country.
Source: The Organizing Committee of the Understanding China Conference 2020 (Guangzhou)