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Xi Jinping Struggles to Get Officials to Follow His Urge to Move to Xiong’an

NTDTV  reported that, although Xi Jinping appears to have the dominant power in China, he is having a hard time getting officials to join his Xiong’an (雄安) initiative.

Xi raised the idea of developing the Xiong’an New Area (雄安新区) in 2017. It is located about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of Beijing and 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Baoding City, Hebei Province. Xiong’an wll serve two purposes: one, it will be a development hub for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei economic triangle, and two, it will be, a place to absorb the non-capital-city-related functions from Beijing to reduce Beijing’s overgrowing size. Several years have passed, Xiong’an’s development has still not fully taken off. One reason is that people, especially those who have power or connections, do not want to leave Beijing to move to Xiong’an.

Xi re-kicked off the Xiong’an efforts this year. In May, Xi visited Hebei Province and chaired a meeting to coordinate the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei development. At the meeting, Xi urged that landmark projects be moved  out of Beijing and  enterprise’ headquarters and their second- and third-tier subsidiaries, as well as startup companies, be reallocated to Xiong’an. At another Xiong’an conference meeting on May 10, Xi said, “(Companies and institutes) cannot decide whether to move on their own preference. If they need to move, they must move. They cannot do the move on the surface but return back (to Beijing) in reality.”

However, Xi’s harsh words didn’t result in much movement. From June 7 to 9, Hebei Provincial Party Secretary Ni Yuefeng and Governor Wang Zhengpu went to Beijing to visit central government’s agencies, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee’s departments, and enterprises, to ask them to set up more projects in Xiong’an.

On June 30, Xi Jinping chaired a CCP Politburo meeting to review “The Opinion on Several Policies and Measures on Develop Xiong’an New Area with High Standard and High Quality.” The meeting stressed to “continuously push landmark projects to Xiong’an.”

On July 3, Cai Qi, CCP Politburo Standing Committee member, held a meeting with the Capital City Planning and Development Committee. The meeting asked its committee member organizations to “take the lead in implementing the (move-to-Xiong’an) plan and supporting the work to help Beijing.”

These repeated efforts from Xi, Cai Qi, and Hebei provincial leaders showed that officials in Beijing are silently resisting Xi’s call to move to Xiong’an.

Source: NTDTV, July 4, 2023