BEIJING, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- China has made significant progress over the past five years in the healthy and green development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.
The economic belt covers nine provinces and two municipalities, accounting for more than 40 percent of the country's population and economic aggregate.
China's top leadership has called for efforts to turn the economic belt into the country's main focus for green development, the major artery for a smooth "dual circulation" of domestic and international markets, and the main force spearheading high-quality economic development.
The following facts and figures released by the National Development and Reform Commission at a press conference on Tuesday offer a glimpse into what the country has achieved in sustaining economic growth, forming a comprehensive transportation corridor and enhancing the level of opening-up of the economic belt:
-- The economic aggregate of the Yangtze River Economic Belt increased from 42.3 percent in 2015 to 46.5 percent in 2019 and further increased to 46.6 percent in the first three quarters of 2020.
-- Emerging industrial clusters have played an important role in driving development as industries including electronic information and equipment manufacturing, among others, account for more than half of the national total.
-- As of November 2020, the total railway mileage of the economic belt reached 43,700 km, up 9,120 km from 2015.
-- The mileage of high-speed railways increased 7,824 km from 2015 to 15,400 km in November last year.
-- The length of expressways along the economic belt reached 63,700 km as of November last year, increasing 15,500 km compared with that in 2015.
-- Ningbo Zhoushan port in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, the country's busiest port, saw cargo throughput exceed 1.1 billion tonnes in 2019, making it the only port in the world to exceed such volume.
-- Since 2016, eight pilot free trade zones and 24 comprehensive bonded zones have been set up along the economic belt.
-- In 2019, the economic belt saw total foreign trade of goods exceed 2 trillion U.S. dollars.
-- As the country steps up efforts to protect its "mother river," a Yangtze River conservation law will take effect on March 1 this year. With 96 provisions in nine chapters, it is China's first legislation on a specific river basin. Enditem