China's regional economic policies well coordinated
"By taking regional differences into account, relatively independent regional policies and plans are conducive to creating comparative advantages and strengthening regional competence," said Mr. Hengshan.
Typical examples of regional policies are the dozens of regional economic development zones across China, such as the Shanghai Pudong New Area and Guangzhou Nansha New Area in economically developed regions, as well as many others set up in less developed central and western regions.
Regional plans and policies are decided between central and local governments, Fan said, but preferential policies are normally granted to under-developed regions, and those which are piloting reforms, such as the Pingtan pilot zone in Fujian and Hengqin New Area in Guangdong which are designed to deepen exchanges and cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan.
"Development across regions is becoming more coordinated and regional gaps are narrowing," said Fan, adding that regional policies have given birth to new growth engines in central and western regions.
The official said central and western regions had achieved faster economic growth than the eastern regions since 2008. "China's vast landscape and regional disparities determine that categorical development guidelines are needed," said Mr. Hengshan. ■