Greater Bay Area Plans World-Class Industrial Cluster 

China aims to build a world-class industrial cluster in the next 10 years, representing an investment of RMB200 billion (US$28.6 billion) into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), reported. 

The government of Huizhou, a city that borders the provincial capital of Guangzhou in Guangdong province, signed a framework agreement on Wednesday with the China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH), to build a world-class industrial cluster based in Huizhou Bay. 

The cluster is expected to be a demonstration area of Huizhou's intelligent manufacturing industry that utilizes advanced technologies to optimize production. The high-tech hub will be situated on east bank of the GBA and will focus on digital intelligent industries, setting an example as ecological cluster.

The overall capital injection of RMB200 billion will be divided into three installments throughout the 10 years of construction and development. Communities included in the GBA development consist of nine Chinese mainland cities and the two special administrative cities, Hong Kong and Macau. The GBA covers 56,000 square kilometers of land, with about 70 million regular residents. Its GDP in 2019 reached RMB11.6 trillion.

China's 13th Five-Year Plan in 2016 mentioned the concept of the GBA, and on July 1 2017, the "Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong – Hong Kong – Macau Cooperation in the Development of the Bay Area" was signed in Hong Kong.

Viral Video Exposes Debt Woes in Poor Dushan County

Dushan, an obscure county that lies in one of China's poorest regions within landlocked Guizhou province, has come under the spotlight in a viral video for saddling itself with RMB40 billion (US$5.7 billion) in debts on mostly unfinished white elephant construction projects started since 2016.

The 22-minute video, "How Dushan Burned 40 Billion," produced by Shanghai-based Guan Video, showcases many of the Dushan white elephant projects and spins the rotten tale behind the planning of the projects.

It has been viewed 27 million times on Weibo since Sunday, with compelling drone footage. It presented the fiasco in sarcastically entertaining fashion.

In response to the viral video, the Dushan government vowed to make changes to the construction projects, which include a 329-foot-high wooden building that Dushan had hoped would earn recognition as a Guinness World Record, as well as an unfinished building named "Hong Kong science city."

Though Dushan was removed from the 24 poverty-stricken county list in 2019, its fiscal revenues in 2019 only totaled RMB827 million, a decline of 12.6% year-on-year. The average per capita disposable income of residents across Dushan towns was RMB33,164, and just RMB11,759 in Dushan's rural areas. The total population is just 370,000, according to the 2017 census. 

In the Weibo post, the Dushan government blamed its debts on Pan Zhili, the county's former party secretary, who was charged with corruption and abuse of authority in December 2019.

From 2010 to 2011, Guizhou province called on 12 "outstanding" governors from provinces such as Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong, Hebei and Chongqing to act as party secretaries for their counties.

Pan Zhili adapted development plans designed for coastal provinces like Jiangsu and vowed to increase landlocked Dushan county's economy and bring prosperity. Construction of industrial clusters, giant stadiums and a college town were rolled out.

Many of those construction projects lacked proper budgeting or auditing, and construction across 1,866 hectares of land had code violations. About 26 people in all face charges or disciplinary actions, Guizhou Daily reported.

By the end of 2019, 51% of the 36.22 million regular residents in Guizhou were still living in rural areas.

Pan was intending to show off his political performance through construction projects rather than focusing on poverty alleviation, the Guizhou Discipline Inspection and Supervision Bureau said.

China Strengthens Restrictions On Fishing In The Yangtze

China will impose an unprecedented ban on fishing in key areas of the Yangtze River starting January 1 and lasting 10 years, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

The move comes after the ministry's current restriction of fishing in the 332 aquatic reserves in the Yangtze River, which came into effect this past January 1. So far about 80,000 fishing vessels have been decommissioned and 100,000 fishermen have been relocated. 

Illegal fishing in some regions, however, still remains a serious problem supported by black-market businesses, while the Yangtze River's ecosystem continues to deteriorate. It is on the edge of losing its production value, said vice agriculture minister Yu Kangzheng. 

Fish output from the Yangtze River is a mere 100,000 tons annually, while the country's total fish output tops 63 million tons. Yangtze's fish output once accounted for 60% of the national total. 

China Eyes Summer Grain Increase

Despite reduced agriculture production area, China's summer grain output reached a historical high of 142.81 million tons, up by 1.21 million tons year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). 

The grain output from each hectare of crops rose 1.6 percent year-on-year, and China's summer grains output accounts for more than 20% of the whole year's grain output. 

The planted area that grows summer grains declined to 26.17 million hectares, down by 0.1816 million hectares year-on-year. The area for growing wheat decreased to 22.711 million hectares, down by 0.2735 million hectares year-on-year.

Due to reforming agriculture supply structures and market adjustments, some of the former summer grain production areas have been replaced with the production of vegetables and other crops like mustards and cauliflower, said Li Suoqiang, the Head of Rural Department of the NBS. 

Hainan Bolsters Master Plan With International Collaboration

As the Southern China island province of Hainan rolls out plans to attract more foreign businesses and investment, it has increased collaboration with overseas associations and international industry organizations. 

The Hainan International Economic Development Bureau (HIEDB) held an online conference on Tuesday with overseas chambers of commerce associated with members representing North and South America, West Asia and Africa, agreeing to cooperation pacts, the Hainan Daily reported. 

Five associations supporting Chinese enterprises abroad, including  the Chinese China General Chamber of Commerce – U.S.A., the Brazilian China Enterprises Association, the South Africa China Economic and Trade Association, the Chinese Business Council in UAE and the Chinese Enterprises Association of Saudi Arabia, signed Memorandums of Cooperation, agreeing to collaborate with Hainan through information sharing, exhibition cooperation and promoting investment in trade.

As of June 30, HIEDB has signed MoCs with 11 associations of Chinese enterprises in Russia, Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Singapore, India, Korea, Japan and Uzbekistan.

On June 1, Chinese authorities released the Overall Plan for the Construction of Hainan Free Trade Port, or "The Masterplan" – a large-scale plan to transform the island into the largest special economic zone in China.