The CCP is planning to move government officials out of the Forbidden City and forge a new metropolis with 130m residents
Red flags outside Tiananmen Image: Peter Mackey
Beijing’s Forbidden City is a powerful symbol of China’s imperial past and its autocratic rulers. It is, perhaps, telling that President Xi Jinping is now finalizing plans to move the progressive party out of the city centre and into a new urban cluster of some 130m people.
The move is part of an ambitious new plan to join Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, the province surrounding both cities and will form an area the size of Belarus or Kansas.
The new zone will be called Jing-Jin-Ji; Jing for Beijing, Jin for Tianjin and Ji, the traditional name for Hebei.
Officials are hoping the new zone will encourage economic development and regional integration outside of major urban connurbations like Beijing and Tianjin. Tongzhou has been slated as a potential location for new government offices, although many of the local population will have to be relocated to make way for new construction.
Increased building will also mean greater economic development, more schools, hospitals, amenities and universities. Remin University has already pledged to build a campus at the new location.
Plans to move the central government out of the city have been in existance for more than half a century, but were delayed due to concerns over the scale of the project.