More efforts should be made to develop border areas, help enrich local products and improve people’s lives there, Premier Li Keqiang said at the State Council executive meeting on May 10.
The meeting passed a plan for the development of border areas during the 13th Five-Year period, aiming to promote prosperity in the frontier regions and improve livelihoods of local ethnic groups.
Premier Li mentioned his visits to border areas, where many cross-border economic cooperation zones were attracting a steady stream of foreigners from neighboring countries to buy China-made goods in yuan.
The key to invigorating border areas is to enhance opening-up, matched with improved management and infrastructure facilities, said the Premier. The greatest comparative advantage China has over its neighbors is the experience of reform and opening-up, which has been accumulated for over 30 years and will be further developed and tapped, he added.
The meeting decided to expand opening-up in the border areas, involve the neighbor regions in the Belt and Road Initiative, promote personal exchanges and more convenient customs clearance, improve supervision and enhance the bilateral trade.
The Premier said that with the improvement of China’s international status, its influences and attractiveness to the neighbor countries have also been enhanced.
He stressed that advancing the border areas is not only a huge livelihood project, but also concerns national security, so the related departments should do the coordination work better.
“China has so wide land mass, and every region has its uniqueness. The detailed plan in each border area is also different, so we should grasp the key points and work out targeted measures,” said the Premier.
He urged that the key is to use the methods of reform and opening-up, and whatever documents released by the State Council are not only meant to demonstrate concept but also to make sure they work in practice.