Serving the New Big Structure of Great Power Diplomacy - Southern "Reception Hall" in Beijing

Source:Beijing Foreign Affairs Office

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Southern "Reception Hall"

The future international communication city embracing the whole world

Forty-six kilometers to the south of Tian'anmen Square, the bronze-colored Beijing Daxing International Airport spreads its wings like a phoenix flying in the nine days. This super project is becoming the first impression of many foreign friends on Beijing and even on China.

▲ Beijing Daxing International Airport "spread its wings and soar", The rise of the new national gateway

The rise of the new national gateway requires a new "parlor". The new version of master plan of Beijing clearly propose for the construction of an international exchange gateway in the south of Beijing, to be combined with the new airport. The city also made the plan that enough space shall be reserved for the planning and construction of an international communications functional area in the south of Beijing.

After the first move, future steps with profound meaning shall follow.

In terms of the layout of international exchange function, the geographical advantage of the southern city is obvious. The southern central axis and its extension connect the central city of Beijing in the north and the Xiongan new area of Hebei in the south, and shall become an important spacial corridor which will drive the coordinated development of Beijing - Tianjin - Hebei region.

To strengthen international exchanges, the southern city has profound historical and cultural legacy. Since the Liao Dynasty, Nanyuan area has been the site for the royal garden of five dynasties. There are also the site of the central capital of Jin Dynasty, which claimed a history of more than 860 years as a capital city. Other cultural relics include the Yunju Temple and the Tuanhe Palace, etc.

Planning international communication facilities gives the southern city a precious historical opportunity. Last year, the city government issued a new round of "three-year action plan for the southern city", which included over a hundred of major projects to accelerate software and hardware upgrading in the southern city, and vigorously support the layout of functions for international exchanges.

Given the foundation, policy and opportunity, from idea to planning, from blueprint to layout, the southern "reception hall" begins to take its shape.

According to the new round of "three-year action plan for the southern city", high standards shall be enforced for the planning and construction of such important areas as Dahongmen, Nanyuan, Xihongmen and Cigezhuang, etc. High-end elements and major cultural activities shall be implanted in order to build a high quality southern axis for ecological and cultural development. The action plan also requires high-level planning and construction of Beijing Daxing International Airport Economic Zone, promotes the construction of comprehensive international communication service facilities, and calls for planning and construction of a complementary international community.

At the beginning of this year, the draft planning of Daxing District and Fengtai District were distributed to the community for soliciting opinions and suggestions. The planning of the "reception hall" has gradually developed from a "freehand brushwork" to a "elaborate style painting".

Daxing District is strategically positioned as a new capital gateway for the international communication. The plan also proposes to establish the gateway image of the capital of a big country and enhance the function of cultural and international communication through the protection of historical and cultural resources and the construction of ecological environment.

▲ Beijing Daxing International Airport, Spatial schematic diagram of the airport economic zone (Beijing part)

The planning of the Daxing international airport economic zone also started. The developer, Beijing New Aerotropolis Holdings Co., Ltd, describes the vision: a city of transportation by air and railway, a city of Chinese cultural appeal, a city of international communication embracing the world, a city of innovation in airport economy, a unique city of impression and a livable city with ecological wisdom. Among them, four major projects, such as the international exhibition center, international health center, international shopping town and the comprehensive bonded zone have all started to attract investment.

Fengtai District will incorporate "building a new functional area for the capital of a big country" into the development goal of the southern central axis and the Nanyuan-Dahongmen area, and shall establish a functional system dominated by cultural and international communication functions and supported by international business, service and ecological travelling.

▲ Spatial schematic diagram of the southern axis and Nanyuan-Dahongmen area

Planning was implemented with much attention to details. The research on the conceptual planning of southern central axis area and the detailed planning and design of the Yongwai area - Dahongmen area - Nanyuan forest wetland park area have completed the international proposal solicitation, and the winning proposals have been reviewed and selected by experts.

The planning clearly defines the spatial pattern of "city in the north and garden in the south". The "north city" is the new CBD of the capital, and "south garden" refers to the forest wetland park in Nanyuan. At the same time, with the relocation of the Nanyuan airport, space shall be reserved for the future construction of the international communication function.

A functional layout of international communication driven by one axis and echoed by the north and the south is about to take its shape.

The north and the south act in coordination with each other

Activate an axis to drive the development of a city

"The city of Beijing is like a Sun Yatsen's suit: the collar is the Forbidden City, the Duanmen, the Meridian door, the Tian'anmen, the Front door, and the Yongding Men are five buttons, the two top pockets are the Imperial Ancestral Temple, the altar of Sheji, the two bottom pockets are the Temple of Heaven, the altar of Xian Nong. An old expert, Mr. Zhu Zuxi once talked about the central axis that he had studied all his life.

As he described, the magnificent central axis, like the skeleton of a dragon, stretched out to showcase the majestic beauty of the capital of a great country. Now, a series of new "accessories" are shining in the city.

▲ A picture of the "double reception halls" layout

The northern "reception hall" -- Olympic Center is positioned as the "window of international communication, world cultural exchange platform and national sports leisure center", and has become an important platform to display the national image and strengthen international communication. The southern "reception hall" -- a series of international communication functional areas being planned in the south city, with the new national gateway as its window, will deploy more completely new communication functions.

The central axis is also the development axis. It connects northern and southern "reception halls" to form a spatial layout which has unique characteristics and is also complementary to each other. One and another international communication facilities, like chess pieces, activated the central axis, and deployed a new engine.

The urban infrastructure is improving. In Olympic Center, the construction of the China National Arts and Crafts Museum has begun. Key cultural projects such as the National Art Museum of China and the National Science and Technology Communication Center, etc. will soon be launched. In the southern central axis and Nanyuan - Dahongmen area, the planned new CBD is rising. The municipal government issued the "implementation opinions on promoting the innovative development of exhibition industry", and clearly propose that Beijing shall cultivate the international exchange service function of the new CBD and build the window of the international exchange center.

▲ The verdant and lovely Olympic forest park

The quality of the ecological environment continues to improve. The Olympic forest park is not only the well-deserved green lung, but also the most popular holy land for runners in Beijing. With a planned area of 16,000 mu, Nanyuan forest wetland park will become the largest green open space on the central axis when completed, rejuvenating the beauty of autumn in the park.

The people's sense of ownership was further enhanced. Olympic Center has not only become a wonderful place for citizens to play and relax, but also cultivated a new way of healthy life. The Nanyuan local government made great efforts to demolish unauthorized buildings. The Xingong Avenue, once dirty and messy, now is covered with green trees. Qi Zhenle, a local resident, said that his happiness index "soared". "In the past, there were good cars but no good roads; and there were good houses but no beautiful scenery. But now it is clean, quiet and beautiful." he said.

▲ The Nanyuan forest wet land park with flowers blooming

The functional improvement of the "reception hall", drives the upgrading of infrastructure, ecological environment and quality of life, and then inspire the development motivation of the central axis, in order to realize spatial optimization and functional upgrading. The far-reaching consideration of the point, line and plane demonstrates the development wisdom of Beijing.

Looking forward, we can see the blueprint of an international communication center with profound cultural heritage, strong development vitality and beautiful ecological environment--

By 2020, the environment and supporting service level for hosting major national and international activities will be fully improved;

By 2035, Beijing will become the capital of a big country with high level capacity and environment for hosting major national and international activities.

The "double reception halls" lying at the northern and southern end of the central axis will become two shining pearls of Beijing, the capital of a great country marching towards the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.