Here is the new mega-city being built outside Beijing

The modern China

  • In 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced plans to build a brand new city to house as many as 5.6 million people to relieve the pressure on the capital Beijing.
  • Nya Dagbladet was one of the first foreign media to visit the futuristic Xiong'an - a city described as a glimpse into the future of China.
publicerad 29 december 2023
- av Markus Andersson
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Xiong'an montage
Xiong'an security checkpoint
Xiong'an police checkpoint
Xiong'an model
Xiong'an telecom center model
The Xiong'an telecom center under construction
Guide shows the construction plan
Xiong'an model round central building
Xiong'an construction site view
Xiong'an another construction site
Xiong'an construction site
Xiong'an construction site
Xiong'an self-driving bus
Xiong'an bus interior monitored
Xiong'an bus interior panel
Xiong'an everyday life awakening
Xiong'an roads
Xiong'an city intersection
Xiong'an bus central
Xiong'an Isac guided tour wetlands
Xiong'an newly built complexes
Xiong'an welcoming delegation
Xiong'an reception center
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Xiong'an montage
Xiong'an security checkpoint
Xiong'an police checkpoint
Xiong'an model
Xiong'an telecom center model
The Xiong'an telecom center under construction
Guide shows the construction plan
Xiong'an model round central building
Xiong'an construction site view
Xiong'an another construction site
Xiong'an construction site
Xiong'an construction site
Xiong'an self-driving bus
Xiong'an bus interior monitored
Xiong'an bus interior panel
Xiong'an everyday life awakening
Xiong'an roads
Xiong'an city intersection
Xiong'an bus central
Xiong'an Isac guided tour wetlands
Xiong'an newly built complexes
Xiong'an welcoming delegation
Xiong'an reception center
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About 100 kilometers outside of Beijing is Xiong’an, an area that until ten years ago was mostly marshland. On the direct orders of the country’s president, Xi Jinping, a city has been built here from scratch under the direct supervision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and with some personal input from the president.

– The work is being promoted under the personal planning of General Secretary Xi Jinping, who has put a lot of effort into it, said Zhang Gaoli, a member of the Politburo of the Party Central Committee and head of the Capital Region Development Group.

The official entrance sign to Xiong’an. Photo: Nya Dagbladet.

The project has been compared to the Shenzhen Economic Zone, which was conceived as an alternative to Hong Kong’s free trade zone, and the Pudong area of Shanghai, which is often considered a national landmark outside China. Shenzhen, now with a population of over 17 million, is described as a pioneer for the 1980s, Pudong for the 1990s, while Xiong’an is described as part of China’s so-called “millennium strategy” and a pioneer project for the 21st century.

Part of the “Millennium Strategy”

The highways into the city have slowly begun to be used, with about 50 percent of the construction completed and the majority of the city to be completed by 2030. The first thing we encounter on the road is a toll booth for the highway. A little later, we encounter a police checkpoint that requires identification of all those wishing to enter the city, including Chinese citizens. The general explanation for this type of check is given as protection against acts of terrorism.

Nya Dagbladet’s editor-in-chief Markus Andersson visits the large wetland outside the city, which has undergone extensive environmental remediation. Photo: Nya Dagbladet.

More than 120,000 people have now moved in as functions deemed non-essential to the capital are gradually relocated to Xiong’an, which is connected to Beijing by a 50-minute high-speed train. Among the first functions to be relocated are the faculties of four of Beijing’s major universities and the headquarters of several large public enterprises, including those in the telecommunications and chemical manufacturing industries.

In addition to relieving pressure on the capital, Xiong’an has been described as a development hub for an “economic triangle” with Beijing and Tianjin, a nearby city of 11 million in northern China.

“Smart city”

Xiong’an is described as a “smart city” with a basic planning concept of the “15-minute city”, where residents should be able to satisfy basic needs within a maximum 15-minute walk. Self-driving buses are being tested in the city, but so far with a supervising driver. As the bus travels along the test route through the city, a situation arises in which a manually driven car appears in front of the bus, which quickly brakes to avoid the danger. However, the braking is neither soft nor smooth, and it is emphasized that the technology is still being developed to be more finely calibrated.

Model of Xiong’an and its different zones for business offices, finance, housing, research and education. Photo: Nya Dagbladet

A special complex in the city is dedicated to coordinating traffic through an advanced monitoring system, and buses interact directly with the environment. In addition to public transportation, the idea seems to be to adapt the city to allow residents to have personal vehicles. There will be no above-ground parking, but rather underground parking throughout the city’s various building complexes.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi describes Xiongan as a pilot project to “cure the disease of big cities” and aims to “find a new way that can be replicated”.

– The new area of Xiongan represents the future of China, leads the world trend and gives a preview of the future development direction of mankind, Yi said.

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