• China has been strengthening its efforts to combat climate change.

China has been strengthening its efforts to combat climate change. (Photo : Reuters)

The State Council has announced a plan to build city clusters along the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, in a bid to spur new economic growth and to promote further development in the urban areas.

The China Daily reported that the planned development will include urban clusters around Wuhan in Hubei Province, clusters around Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province and the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan city group in Hunan Province.

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According to the statement released by the State Council on its website on April 5, Sunday, the clusters are a major component of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, which covers a total land area of 317,000 square kilometers.

The State Council said that the three clusters are key areas where the "Rise of Central China" strategy will be implemented, where more substantive reform and new type of urbanization will be launched and promoted.

The statement said that the government will prioritize areas where development has already been coordinated between the urban and the rural areas and there is connectivity in infrastructure, which include construction of essential transportation, energy and water conservation projects.

The "Rise of Central China" strategy was launched in 2004 as part of the country's effort to attain a more balanced development.

Last year, the government started to create an economic belt along the Yangtze as a way to encourage better coordination in industrial development and find more efficient allocation of resources among provincial regions traversed by the Yangtze, the country's longest river.

The statement said that the government will continue with its efforts to make full use of each area's industrial advantages, strengthen agricultural bases, support industrial transfer in different areas as well as speed up industrial upgrades.

The State Council also called on local governments along the Yangtze River to cooperate closely to accomplish the plan, the statement added.