Xi calls for focus on Yangtze River Delta development

Firefighters patrol at a flooded area near the Yangtze river in Zhenjiang, China, on July 20, 2020.
Firefighters patrol at a flooded area near the Yangtze river in Zhenjiang, China, on July 20, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - China's President Xi Jinping called for increased efforts to develop the Yangtze River Delta region as part of the government's push to boost the domestic market amid a weak global economy and rising tensions with the US.

The region, which includes Shanghai, and the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, should utilise global talent and businesses to create a new development model, Mr Xi said at a meeting with local officials on Thursday (Aug 20).

The area must seek to strengthen key sectors, including the development of the integrated circuit industry, he said, according to the statement published on the government website on Saturday.

China faces mounting pressure at home and abroad as the pandemic exposes vulnerabilities in its economic model, which relies heavily on exports.

While the country's growth has recovered from a historic slump in the first quarter, tensions with the US and a fragile global recovery are threatening the rebound.

"Against the background of a shrinking global market, we must concentrate on our own business and take advantage of the vast domestic market," Mr Xi said.