BEIJING (AP) — Beijing's city government said Sunday that it is going to move part of its administrative functions out of the city center as part of a plan to better integrate the Chinese capital with its surrounding areas.
The municipal government's Communist Party committee also agreed at a meeting Friday and Saturday to stick to its target to limit Beijing's population to 23 million, according to the government's information office microblog. Its population was 21.5 million at the end of 2014.
The "subsidiary administrative center" will be in Tongzhou, a district in Beijing's eastern suburbs about a 40-minute car ride from downtown Beijing without heavy traffic, and will take shape by 2017.
The new center is part of a plan to integrate Beijing with neighboring Hebei, an industrial province from where much of the capital's pollution wafts in, and the port city of Tianjin. Officials want to develop high-quality resources such as hospitals and universities in the whole area, rather than have them concentrated in downtown Beijing.
Moving part of the municipal government and its services out of central Beijing and to neighboring regions will help ease traffic congestion and population growth.