China plans new SEZ around Beijing, 3 times the size of New York City

By Lydia Chen, Canada Wood China

China is planning a new special economic zone (SEZ) that will effectively extend the sprawling metropolis of Beijing, transforming the area around the Chinese capital into a “mega-region” that could also see Tianjin and Hebei province come under its sphere of influence.

The 100sq km Xiong’an New Area has been earmarked for a green and low-carbon city with small townships built around it, according to a circular issued by the government.

In future, it could also be a launch pad for high-tech industries manufacturing 5G communications, bio-medical science, artificial intelligence and Fintech, according to state-owned Chinese media Xinhua News Agency.

The zone is expected to eventually expand to 2,000sq km, nearly three times the size of New York City.

Xiong’an is also home to one of China’s largest wetlands, which the government said it would protect.