Qingdao on track to becoming global marine leader
Zhao Haozhi, mayor of Qingdao city, Shandong province and also a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Qingdao, Shandong province, aims to become a global maritime hub, the city's mayor, Zhao Haozhi, said during the ongoing annual session of the National People's Congress in Beijing.
"Qingdao has abundant oceanic resources along its 817-kilometer-long coastline," said Zhao, who is also a deputy to the NPC.
The sea area of the city is around 12,240 square kilometers, 1,000 times more than its land area. It is rich in fish, shrimp, shellfish, kelp and seaweed. About 1.1 million tons of fish are available.
Qingdao has been designated as a national-level demonstration area for developing marine ecological civilization. It is also at the forefront of marine science and technology and home to more than 30 percent of the country's academicians in those fields. It is home to 40 percent of the nation's high-end marine research facilities and 50 percent of China's world-leading marine technologies.
"We are accelerating efforts to build several national marine research platforms, including the Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, the National Deep Sea Center and the Center for Ocean Mega-Science of the Academy of Sciences. At the same time, we are pushing forward major projects such as supercomputing facilities, marine pharmaceuticals and Transparent Ocean, a project supporting accurate predictions of the marine environment in light of climate change," Zhao said, expressing hope that the city would become a hub for marine science and technology innovation.
Aerial view of Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The Port of Qingdao, a subsidiary of Shandong Port Group, is the world's sixth-largest comprehensive port. It features the largest ore wharf, the largest oil terminal and the most advanced fully automated container terminal in the world. Volume of rail-sea transit services, measured in containers, has ranked first in the country for six consecutive years.
"Great efforts will be made to boost rail-sea transit services and the shipping industry, making the city a gateway to the Yellow River Basin, which is expected to boost economic development and trade between China's eastern and the western regions by connecting land and river areas," Zhao said.
As for the marine industry within the city, Zhao said the industrial system is complete, with revenue in each of five major sectors surpassing 100 billion yuan ($15.33 billion).
Manufacturing of marine-related equipment, products and materials, as well as coastal tourism, also play important roles in the economy.
"The city is also joining hands with neighboring cities within the province to build a demonstration zone for the marine economy," Zhao added.