Network to drastically cut travel times to neighboring regions
A transportation plan showing how the Xiongan New Area will link with Beijing, Tianjin and other areas in Hebei province has been unveiled.
The map shows that four north-south high-speed railway lines and two east-west routes will pass through Xiongan, according to a report by China Central Television.
Routes include existing lines, such as the Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railway, and new ones, including the Beijing-Xiongan intercity rail.
Upon completion of the railways, journeys from Xiongan to Beijing will be reduced to 30 minutes, less than half the current travel time.
Trains from Xiongan will only take 20 minutes to reach Beijing's new airport, 30 minutes to reach Tianjin, and an hour to reach Hebei's provincial capital Shijiazhuang, according to the report.
Located about 100 kilometers southwest of downtown Beijing, Xiongan sits at the center of the triangular area formed by the capital, Tianjin and Shijiazhuang. It was created to advance the integrated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
Besides railways, the network map also includes seven expressways that will connect the new area to regions near and far.
After taking shape, it will take only 60 minutes to drive from Xiongan to Beijing or Tianjin, and 90 minutes to drive to Shijiazhuang. The driving time now is at least two hours to each city.
The transportation plan was unveiled in Beijing on Tuesday at a conference on the integrated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region presided over by Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli.
Xinhua News Agency reported that, during the meeting, Zhang said a framework plan for Xiongan has entered a final stage and will be examined and approved by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.
The two authorities announced the decision to set up Xiongan in April as part of efforts to relocate noncapital functions from Beijing.
"After the plan is approved, the area should implement it prudently and deliberately," Zhang said, adding that the construction of transportation infrastructure and ecological environment projects should also be accelerated.
He said that more domestic and foreign talent should be invited to participate in the construction of Xiongan, while supporting policies for developing investment and financing, and tax and land development should be formulated.
Spanning three counties in Hebei's Baoding, the new area will initially cover about 100 square kilometers before being expanded to about 2,000 sq km over the long-term.
A series of preparatory measures have been taken in the area since April, and a group of high-tech giants, including Alibaba and Baidu, have already established branches there.