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Reviving the Rust Belt

Oriental Outlook May 15, 2021

By NewsChina Updated Aug.1

On April 2, China’s National Development and Reform Commission released five major measures to revitalize the country’s northeastern region, including incentivizing market entities and adjusting the industrial structure. The area, comprised of the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning and part of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, has been a key industrial region since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. After the reform and opening-up policy was adopted in the late 1970s, the region faced growing challenges like an imbalance in the industrial structure, slow economic growth and outflow of talent. Since 2003, the central government has released a package of policies to boost the area, to little avail. Economists cautioned that it is crucial to improve the business environment of the region to make enterprises more competitive and profitable where people are willing to stay.