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  • By 1980, once a fishing village Shenzhen became the country's first special economic zone.

    By 1980, once a fishing village Shenzhen became the country's first special economic zone. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 August 2019

Shenzhen is known as the "window" of China's reform and international opening-up drive that began under the guiding hand of Deng Xiaoping in 1979

China’s government has tasked Shenzhen city in the Guangdong Province to become a “pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” and to lead the integration of its culture and economy with bordering Hong Kong and Macau, according to the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

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The central authorities presented a document with guidelines on Sunday to express their will to push for further development and innovation of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA), to deepen reform and expand opening-up comprehensively. 

Liang Haiming, chairman of China Silk Road iValley Research Institute, said that to build Shenzhen into a hub of socialism with Chinese characteristics will further strengthen the interconnection between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. 

“However, Hong Kong must first stop violence and other law-breaking activities to avoid further damage to its economy, social order, and international image,” Lau Pui-King, an economist in Hong Kong told Xinhua.

Shenzhen is known as the "window" of China's reform and international opening-up drive that began under the guiding hand of Deng Xiaoping in 1979. By 1980, once a fishing village became the country's first special economic zone with policies to attract overseas investment.

The city houses the global headquarters for Tencent, China’s social media giant, and Huawei. And now, 40 years later, Shenzhen will play a new role in the “fulfillment of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.” 

According to the State Council 19-point directive ​​​​​​​by 2025, the city will rank among the top in the world in economic strength and quality of development. And Chinese authorities plan that by 2035, it will become a boomtown of innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity with international influence.

“In particular, it will attract more Hong Kong financial and technological talents to work and live in Shenzhen, helping Shenzhen to become a world-class hub for innovation and technology,” Liang added.

To accomplish this Shenzhen will be granted unique policies including privileges in yuan internationalization, as well as favorable support by the central government to speed up the construction of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong technology innovation cooperation area.

Innovation sectors will include 5G, artificial intelligence, cyberspace technology, and biomedical technology. 

The strategy is part of President Xi Jinping’s envisionment of the country’s future economy, which will be based on Germany’s industrialization 4.0 strategy, which aims to a more innovation-driven economy rather than a manufacturing-focused industry.

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