China planning megalopolis the size of New England

With its new shipping and transport network and gleaming office towers and apartments under construction, the Tianjin Free Trade Zone already hints at the colossal resources Beijing is committing to the next phase of China’s economic rise. President Xi Jinping is seeking for China to become the world’s largest economy.

The government is expected to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on transport and infrastructure projects that will connect around 130 million people living in Beijing, the bustling port city of Tianjin and 11 other cities in Hebei province.

A crucial part of the strategy is the revitalization of Tianjin as a base for advanced manufacturing and international shipping. Beijing will remain as the nation’s capital and political and cultural center, while Hebei province will shift to clean manufacturing and wholesale trading.