Tongzhou authorities improve services ahead of population influx

2017-05-10 08:20Global Times Editor: Li Yan ECNS App Download

The Tongzhou authorities announced Friday that they will build 15 first-aid stations in the district by the end of 2017 to deal with the shortage of emergency services in the Beijing suburb, which is being turned into an administrative center for the capital.

At present, there are only three first-aid stations and 20 ambulances in Tongzhou. There are 110 medical workers in these stations, the Beijing Youth Daily reported Saturday citing the local health authorities.

In the last three years, the number of calls to which the district's ambulances responded went down from 17,455 in 2014 to 16,436 in 2016, amid a declining public satisfaction rating that dropped to 68.81 percent in 2016, said the report.

According to national first-aid station regulations, there should be one station for every 200,000 citizens and one ambulance for every 30,000, a Tongzhou health official told Beijing Youth Daily.

To meet these standards, Tongzhou would need at least 45 ambulances for its more than 1.35 million residents. It also needs at least 15.56 million yuan ($2.25 million) per year to provide emergency medical services, around five times the current level of funding, the official said.

The 15 first-aid stations will be directly managed by the Beijing Emergency Medical Center, in a bid to effectively implement the capital's emergency service regulations that took effect on March 1.

Another 14 stations will be built in Tongzhou in the future.

School center

Substantial progress will be made this year on the subsidiary administrative center being built in Tongzhou as part of plans to ease overcrowding in Beijing, Li Shixiang, former vice mayor of Beijing, was quoted as saying by the Xinhua News Agency.

The decision to build the new administrative center serves as part of the capital's contribution to the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei regional integrated development plan.

To complement the new facilities there, the government has planned hundreds of supporting projects in infrastructure, education, culture and healthcare, Xinhua reported.

The People's Daily reported on Friday that Beijing-based colleges including Beijing City University, the Beijing University of Civil Engineering, Beijing Technology and Business University and the Beijing Film Academy have started to move to Tongzhou.

Four top-notch middle schools have also opened branches in Tongzhou.

The Tongzhou government in February signed an education cooperation plan with Wuqing district in Tianjin and the city of Langfang in North China's Hebei Province, The Beijing News reported.

The plan covers education from kindergarten to middle school. It will serve as a platform for schools in the three regions to cooperate and communicate, Wang Xiudong, deputy director of the Tongzhou district education bureau, told The Beijing News.

Moreover, a total of 12 financial agencies including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Bank of China have launched cooperation with the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Interurban Railway Investment Corporation in April, announcing they will invest in 24 railway lines - 3,450 kilometers in total - in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, China National Radio reported.

A line running between Beijing and Tangshan, Hebei, started in 2016. The line will run through Tongzhou, Langfang and Tianjin. A total of nine lines will be in service by 2020, according to the report.

New functions

With available land resources of around 55 square kilometers, it is predicted that Tongzhou will draw in approximately 400,000 urban residents from the city center in the future, Xinhua said.

It will not only be a sub-administrative center for Beijing, but also a center for business, culture and tourism, according to a plan the Beijing government released in March.

Tongzhou will be like the "capital" of the capital, home to the municipal government of Beijing, Yang Kaizhong, a professor in urban and regional management at Peking University, told news portal on April 3.

In comparison, Yang added, some national administrative functions based in Beijing will be transferred to the Xiongan New Area.

China announced the establishment of the Xiongan New Area, which includes the Hebei counties of Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin, on April 1. The New Area's most important role is as a new home for Beijing's "non-capital" functions, according to Xinhua.

"In a long run, Tongzhou will not be Beijing's only sub-administrative center," Wu Weijia, deputy director of the School of Architecture at Tsinghua University told

There should be a system of sub-administrative centers to solve Beijing's urban problems while achieving more balanced development among the cities and regions surrounding the capital, Wu pointed out.


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