China is planning the development of a new area, called Xiongan, in its northern Hebei province that, according to The Guardian, is set to be almost three times as big as New York.
The region, which was announced by leaders of China’s Communist Party on Saturday, is designed to “spur economic growth,” “take over Beijing’s noncapital roles,” and “serve as another economic engine and advance the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region,” according to China Daily.
Xiongan will also explore a new way of developing densely populated areas, and it could help with the likes of traffic congestion and air pollution.
The Guardian reported that homebuyers immediately flocked to the area in hopes of buying property to resell in the future at a higher price. Property prices nearly doubled in the hours after the announcement on Saturday, according to local media.
One interested buyer, 32-year-old Chen Bo, who has been working in Beijing for eight years but is native to the Xiongan area, told Beijing News he was “so excited that I didn’t sleep the whole night.” He added that he felt as if “the plan is a pie falling from the sky.”
Bloomberg reported that within 24 hours of Saturday’s announcement, some prospective buyers were camped outside property agent offices overnight.
On Sunday, the government banned all property sales in the zone to “stem speculation,” and estate agents shut their doors on Monday, according to Reuters.
New area a ‘crucial strategy’
The new region will sit parallel to the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in the south and the Shanghai Pudong New Area in the east, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) southwest of downtown Beijing. It will span three counties.
A circular issued Saturday by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council said the decision to build Xiongan New Area was a “major historic and strategic choice made by the Communist Party of China Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core.”
“It is a strategy crucial for a millennium to come,” the statement added. It went on to say that the area boasted “geological advantages, convenient transportation, an excellent ecological environment, ample resources and lots of room for development,” according to China Daily USA.
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