Reforms underway in Datong
A figure for economic statistics of Datong city [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]
Datong, a coal-rich city in Shanxi province, has been implementing energy reforms and building the International Energy Revolution Science and Technology Innovation Industrial Park and the "Hydrogen Capital" New Energy Industrial City to advance the development of its energy industry. The city is also cooperating with Datong Coal Mine Group to carry out ten related projects.
The city has also established Datong Aviation Industry Group and acquired China Air Cargo Co, which has helped develop freight aviation in Shanxi, in order to develop its navigation industry.
Datong has also been seeking ways to use coal more efficiently and develop smart grids, improve energy storage, and increase energy conservation by carrying out 100 high-tech research projects, and building industrial think tanks employing 20 academics and 71 experts, and has introduced national institutes and companies in key industries, such as Chinese Academy of Sciences and Tsinghua University. As a result, the city's local industrial output value has exceeded 100 billion yuan ($14.09 billion) for the first time.
In addition, the city has been working to boost its local culture and tourism sector. It has started renovating the Ancient City of Datong, developing Hengshan Mountain, and expanding the Yungang Grottoes scenic area. A series of international events, such as the Jackie Chan International Action Film Week, are also being held regularly. The number of tourists and total tourism revenue have both increased by nearly 30 percent over the past four years.
Over the past few decades, Datong has been continually striving to open up. It has participated in the Belt and Road and been a part of the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The Datong International Land Port has also begun operating and the local airport will soon open to traffic.
Datong has spent 2.2 billion yuan on poverty alleviation efforts and lifted 176,000 residents in 410 villages across the city out of poverty. The per capita disposable income of rural residents was 4,653 yuan in the first half of 2019, representing a year-on-year growth of 10.2 percent, among the highest of any city in Shanxi province.
To revitalize rural areas, the city has been removing dangerous structures, better managing garbage and sewage, developing clean energy, and renovating public toilets. A total of 200 villages have been built to serve as models for improving rural living environments.
Datong is now spending 80 percent of the public budget on improving people's living standards. The city has taken measures to promote the development of education, employment, medical care, elderly care, housing, culture, and social security.
Datong has also been limiting air pollution, protecting water sources, and planting trees. The treatment of mines and environmental restoration in the city's Hunyuan county is an ongoing process and the city's air quality has ranked first in Shanxi province for the past six years.