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Blueprint maps out Xi'an's rise as key metropolis in the world

Updated: 2018-03-12

Xi'an aims to become an international metropolis by 2020 - joining the likes of Beijing and Shanghai - according to a development plan for the Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Zone.

The State Council approved construction of the Guanzhong-Tianshui area, a 69,600-square-kilometer economic zone covering cities in Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, in 2009.

To achieve this goal, Xi'an government has identified a series of work priorities for the year ahead, boosting industrial development of the economy, its culture and tourism.

Under the blueprint, the capital of Shaanxi province will continue to transform itself into an advanced and modern economy.

It plans to focus more on developing emerging strategic industries and the advanced manufacturing sector - centering on big data, cloud computing, fifth-generation mobile communications technology, vehicle design, car parts, unmanned aerial vehicles, industrial robots and satellite navigation systems.

As a pivotal city on the Silk Road Economic Belt, Xi'an will accelerate the pace of building itself up as a national integrated transportation hub, in a bid to increase its capacity for allocating resources in China and the rest of the world.

The city will start phase three of the construction of Xianyang International Airport and open 10 international passenger routes and four international freight routes.

Blueprint maps out Xi'an's rise as key metropolis in the world

The airport is expected to deal with more than 45 million passengers and 300,000 metric tons of cargo by the end of this year.

In addition, more high-speed trains will start running and new expressways and metro lines will be constructed in 2018.

Xi'an will also strive to boost protection of its historical and cultural relics, such as the city wall built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the ruins of Xianyang Palace, dating from the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).

The city will also add five new museums by the end of this year and reinforce protection of its intangible cultural heritage assets.

Promoting the development of the city's cultural and creative industries is another highlight of the work earmarked to be carried out in 2018. The city government plans to foster strong and competitive cultural companies, to achieve an increase of least 15 percent in the added value of the cultural industry.

Highlighted sectors include digital publishing, animation and video gaming.

With its rich cultural and tourist resources, Xi'an aims to become a State-level demonstration city for all-region tourism - an entire region as a tourist destination - promoting the deep integration of tourism and culture, science, technology, exhibition, trade and sports.

It plans to create tourist brands themed on "visiting Xi'an at night" through such activities as a light show at its ancient city walls, and "a bite of Xi'an" that will draw tourists by taking advantage of the diversity of the city's local food.

The city is expected to handle more than 200 million visitors in the current year and generate over 200 billion yuan ($31.59 billion) in tourist revenue.