BEIJING, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Ecological protection, clustered urban layout and coordinated development shall be priorities throughout the establishment of Xiongan New Area, a new economic zone near Beijing, an expert told Xinhua on Friday.
A circular issued by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council described Xiongan New Area as a "major historic and strategic choice" that would be "crucial for the millennium to come."
About 100 km southwest of downtown Beijing, Xiongan will sit in the center of a triangle formed by Beijing, Tianjin and Shijiazhuang, and its significance has been compared to Shenzhen Economic Zone and Pudong New Area, the testing beds for the country's reform and opening up.
The proposed area currently spans three counties of Xiongxian, Anxin, Rongcheng, and is known for Baiyangdian, one of the largest freshwater wetlands in north China, which has more than 140 lakes.
"Ecological protection and green development must be put first," said Li Xiaojiang, member of the expert committee advising the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region (Jing-Jin-Ji) and former head of China Academy of Urban Planning and Design.
Urban planning must be of the highest standards, and the architecture should fully reflect Chinese culture.
Regional collaboration and rural-urban integration will be some of the core concepts that will guide the planning and design of the new area, Li said.
"Xiongan New Area will advance integration with Beijing, Tianjin and other cities in Jing-Jin-Ji region," Li said. "It will also strengthen the coordinated development of urban layout, transport, infrastructure and other public services, in the three counties and surrounding countryside."
Li pointed out that the planning of the new area shall take the economy, society, land and ecology into consideration, while talent from home and abroad will be encouraged to help make the area a leader of innovation, science and technology.
"The new area will usher in a brand new state-level economic zone and urban development model in China," he said.