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Capital sees profound change in past decade

By Du Juan Source: China Daily Updated: 2022-09-05


A photo shows a night view of the CBD area in downtown Beijing, capital of China. [Photo/Sipa]

Beijing has seen a deep transformation and achieved significant development in major areas over the past 10 years, a senior government official said on Thursday.

"Beijing has firmly followed the path of integrated development with the neighboring municipality of Tianjin and Hebei province, and it relocated the noncapital functions out of the city, both of which have resulted in historic breakthroughs," Beijing Mayor Chen Jining said at a news conference.

"Beijing's functions as the country's capital have been strengthened in the past 10 years. The city government has accelerated the high-quality development of the Beijing Municipal Administrative Center and supported the construction of the Xiong'an New Area," he said. Xiong'an is a new special economic and development zone on the outskirts of Beijing.

"Meanwhile, Beijing has become the one and only city in the world that has held both the summer and winter Olympic Games," Chen said.

Beijing Daxing International Airport, one of the nation's major construction projects, which began operating in 2019, has boosted regional economic growth in the area.

Beijing's gross domestic product grew to 4.03 trillion yuan ($583.86 billion) from 1.9 trillion yuan during the past decade, and its per capita GDP increased from 92,800 yuan to 184,000 yuan during the same period. The per capita disposable income of residents in Beijing more than doubled, from 36,800 yuan to 75,000 yuan.

Beijing has made great efforts in fighting air pollution and improving the natural environment in the past 10 years. The annual average concentration of major airborne fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, has declined to 33 micrograms per cubic meter in 2021, falling by 63.1 percent compared with the level in 2013. During that time, the city's forest coverage rate increased from 38.6 percent to 44.6 percent.

In addition to a growing economy and better environment, the capital has been working on providing healthier and more sustainable living conditions for its residents.

Along the central axis of the city, Beijing has launched cultural relic renovation projects to keep the "old city" flavor and also provide modern living conditions for people who live there. Up to 3,958 alleys have been given a new look.

People can increasingly find "pocket forests"-small areas of trees and wildflowers-in their communities as the government continues to invest in creating such green spaces for the public.