Ma Yunze: Difficulties and Breakthroughs in Collaborative Development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei

Since the strategy of Collaborative Development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei was implemented, all the works were carried out in an orderly and effective manner. Although we have achieved a good start, there is still a disparity between the overall progress of the regional collaborative development and the target, and some underlying problems need to be solved.

1. The non-capital functions relieved from Beijing depend on “synchronization of three processes”, which indicate industrial transfer in an orderly manner, urban layout in a scientific manner and population control in a rational manner.

Strategy of of Collaborative Development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei insists on problem -oriented principle with solving the “metropolitan malaise” of Beijing as its starting point and industrial transfer of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei in an orderly manner as a solution. Thus urban layout will be distributed scientifically.  

As a long-term and difficult task, relieving the non-capital functions from Beijing should focus on developing the new area for the city to promote the integration of industry and the city. The main task of Tianjin is to promote relatively balanced development of industries by carrying out the non-capital functions. Given the large area and high population of Hebei Province, we should select developed regions and areas to carry out the non-capital functions. The key of Collaborative Development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei is to boost the development of enterprises in Hebei Province and to form a rational gradient difference in the regions.

2.The key to cultivating regional endogenous power is to break the barriers of administrative system. Through the reform of institutional mechanism, coordination effect can be amplified and coordination system of regional development can be constructed.

Regional coordinative development needs the cultivation of endogenous power as well as the promotion from external motive. The positions of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei are non-equivalent and the policies have large differences. Though the significance of coordination has been realized, it is still hard to take into practice. This problem roots in the heavy barriers of administrative system in three regions.

To solve the problem, institutional mechanism reform must be further reinforced: (1) factor market integration reform should be promoted; (2) systems and mechanisms for coordinative development should be constructed; (3) coordination mechanism for regional connection should be improved; (3) examination and evaluation mechanisms for innovation should be established. It is important to apply the regional evaluation and examination, implement and realize the assessment index of coordinative innovation like eliminating excess capacity, energy saving and cost reducing and so on, thus to innovate and improve the evaluation and examination system of governments at all levels.

3.The key to governing the ecosystem in coordination is to improve profit compensation through institutional design, thus putting the joint defense and control from concept into practice.  

The responsibilities and duties of ecological environmental protection is lack of clear division, and the coordinative mechanism of joint defense and control is not established. To make a breakthrough of ecological environmental protection, three regions should implement the Outline of Collaborative Development comprehensively, break through constrains of administrative division and segmentations so as to take the lead in the “four unifications” on ecological restoration and environmental comprehensive treatment. 

There are five actions in the process. (1) A deep-seated reform in system and mechanism needs to be implemented. A cooperative mechanism for regional eco-environmental protection will be built to set a uniform environmental standard. (2) An environmental monitoring system and regional environmental carrying capacity evaluation and risk management mode based on the Internet of Things (IOT) should be constructed. (3) Eco-compensation policies should be formulated and improved. Efforts should be made in establishing regional eco-compensation fund, regional horizontal eco-compensation mechanism and diversified modes of eco-compensation. (4) A cross-regional emission trading market should be built. (5) According to different environmental quality (or risk) control targets, efforts should also be put forth in breaking through the conditions causing compound pollution industrial emission reduction through adjustment of energy structure and emission reduction during the whole process of production. In this end, the region will expand its environmental capacity and achieve its target as a demonstration area in ecological restoration and environmental improvement.

4.The difficulty of regional basic public service equalization is to make up the shortage of Hebei and achieve the united, optimizing and balanced distribution of resources within the region.

At present, Hebei Province shows an obvious difference compared with Beijing and Tianjin in social development, public service and the level of quality. Thus system innovation is necessary for promoting the unified, optimizing and balanced distribution of qualified public service resources in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei regions. On one hand, the public service resources sharing should be actively promoted. On the other hand, rational distribution is also important, the core of which is to relieve regional public service resources stock and balance the increment by taking the opportunity of relieving the non-capital functions from Beijing, the government should 5.Coordinated development should solve the relationship between the government and market scientifically. Not only does it require the guidance from an accountable government, but it also calls for a positive adjustment from an effective market.

In recent years, one of the main reasons why Collaborative Development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei has progressed so slowly is that a regional market has yet to form with expedite resource flow, quick information transmission, coordinated production connection, vigor and unified policies. The root of the problem lies in the fact that the boundary between government and market is so obscure that government guidance and market adjustment cannot be combined effectively under the current administrative management system.

We should lay equal emphasis on clarifying the boundary between government and market and scientifically handling the relationship between accountable government and effective market. On one hand, market mechanism should be properly applied and reforms in related fields be deepened for enterprises and public institutions with profitable characteristics. On the other hand, the government should play an active role in creating a favorable environment for the market.

It is an urgent issue to explore and establish a cross-regional governance and coordination mechanism that combines the market regulation with government guidance. In this way, we can ensure regional coordinated development, a more dynamic economy, a more equitable society and more efficient operations. 

Source: Tianjin Daily

Written by Ma Yunze, Director of Industrial Development Research Center of Binhai Development Institute, Nankai University

Translated by Shi Yuchen

Proofread by Yan Ruoyan

Nankai University

No.38 Tongyan Road, Jinnan District, Tianjin , P.R. China 300350

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