December 17 2013

Integrating Western China’s Urbanization with the New Silk Road

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences recently published the Western China Development Report, which shows that the urbanization rate in Western China reached 44.93% in year 2012, compared to 60% in the Eastern China. The central government proposed to integrate urbanization in western China with the development of the “New Silk Road.” Among all the agendas, international telecommunication network development and pipeline construction are set to be the priorities.

West China pipeline

One of the major themes of urbanization in western China is promoting international economic cooperation. Xinjiang Province, located in western China, will become the connecting point for inventory movement throughout Central Asia, West Asia, South Asia and the Middle East.

As Western China accelerates the pace of urbanization, the region also faces pressing challenges, such as loss of agricultural land, environmental protection issues, and inadequate infrastructure. Insiders points out that poor infrastructure is the biggest constraint in Western China’s urbanization. According to the China Securities Journal reporter, Western China’s development plan will make infrastructure development a priority. Among all the focuses, creating a network in international communication and pipeline transportation infrastructure will be the main concern.

In terms of cross-border terrestrial cable construction, the creation of regional international communications and business entrances in the western region will be the major focus. In the first half of 2014, Xinjiang will build 5,000 4G mobile stations, covering the region’s 16 central cities and 63 counties. By the end of 2014, 12,000 4G base stations will be built, so that the vast majority of local customers will be able to enjoy the services provided by the 4G network.

West China

In order to maximize the western region’s advantage in energy and natural resources, construction of pipeline transportation infrastructure has become a concentration. Cross-border oil and gas pipeline construction will be accelerated, including the construction of the Central Asian gas pipeline C line, D line, the construction of the West-East third line, fourth line, and fifth line and the Sino-Russian East, West natural gas pipelines.

What do you think are some challenges that China is facing in urbanizing the western region?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

The original article, published in Chinese, can be found here.

Jue Wang

Jue Wang is a Master of Urban Planning student at the University of Southern California (USC) with a concentration in sustainable land use planning. Born in a small town along the Yellow River and having grown up in the Pearl River Delta in southeastern China, she experienced the rapid transformation of rural and urban China in the past two decades. Inspired by the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, she decided to translate her passions towards the betterment of the natural and built environment to a career in urban planning. Being an Angeleno for five years, she has claimed Los Angeles as her second home. Through her work as a translator and content coordinator, Jue hopes to help more people learn about China's planning and environmental design issues.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 at 9:01 am and is filed under Energy, Infrastructure, Urban Development/Real Estate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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