Changsha traffic network to lift Yangtze economy
On the morning of April 6, the Xingang Port in Changsha is busy as usual – a huge crane is stretching out to lift containers onto a boat. Yang Jianxin, a 54-year-old man who has been working in the port for more than 20 years, directs the machine with a walkie-talkie.
“More than 60 percent of the export containers in Hunan province set sail from the Xingang Port, the key node along the waist position of the Yangtze River Economic Belt,” Yang said.
Changsha Xingang Port [Photo/rednet.cn]
The busy scenery of Xingang Port is part of the national plan to develop the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, in a move to create an economic growth and promote new urbanization.
The plan, unveiled by the State Council on April 5, envisions urban clusters around Wuhan in Hubei province, the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan city group in Hunan province and clusters around Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province.
Priority will be given to coordinated development between urban and rural areas and connectivity of infrastructure, including transportation, water conservation and energy projects, the statement said.
Changsha Party chief Yi Lianhong said that Changsha will work more closely with cities such as Wuhan and Nanchang to propel the rise of city clusters in Central China.
“It is indeed encouraging news and a great opportunity for Changsha,” said Zhang Zhiyong, the head of Changsha’s Development and Reform Commission. Zhang said that based on its strengths in creative industry, cultural tourism, and transportation, the city will further expand cooperation with the other cities in the cluster.
According to Zhang, Changsha is now on the way of developing into a comprehensive transportation center, with a focus on high speed rail and waterways, airways, and highways.
At present, the Beijing-Guangzhou and Shanghai-Kunming high speed railways crisscross Changsha, making it only one and a half hours away from Wuhan and Nanchang, and four hours to Hefei. The prospective Chongqing-Changsha-Xiamen high-speed rail will also run across the city of Changsha.
In 2014, the passenger volume of Changsha Huanghua International Airport broke records in Central China.
A highway network, totaling 5,943 km, has been laid out in Hunan province, centering on Changsha and paving the way for the rest of the country. Meanwhile, it has joined the national network of highway ETCs (Electronic Toll Collections) with another 13 provinces and cities.
A regional customs clearance integration has already been in force in the Yangtze river basin, which substantially lowers logistical costs and facilitates freight transport linkage in the area.
By Zhang Qiong, edited by Andrew Ancheta
Source: Xinhua/Economic Daily