Integration of the Yangtze River Delta Region —Shanghai and the provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang — has made great progress, according to the city government.
One of the hallmarks of this progress has been the opening up of dead-end roads. These are roads which simply come to an abrupt stop at provincial borders due to lack of planning coordination between provinces. There were previously 17 of them. Last year, Yingdian Road became the first opened up to traffic, connecting Shanghai and Kunshan in Jiangsu Province. Work is now underway on another 15.
The Hangzhou-Huangshan high-speed rail link, stringing together a number of tourist attractions, has opened and is now one of the most popular lines in the region.
Innovation and cooperation have been another important factor. Suning has opened more than 2,200 stores in the region, with logistic centers in both Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. The G60 Science and Technology Innovation Valley, an alliance of nine cities in the delta, is uniting enterprises and scientific resources focused on intelligent manufacturing and robotics.
Shanghai Stock Exchange has set up seven service centers and a service workshop to help companies work together on risk prevention and innovation.
While striving to build a better economic system, environmental protection has not been neglected. The three provinces and Shanghai have agreed to use the same emission standards for cars and boats. Waterways that cross provincial borders are managed by officers from both provinces. More than 10,000 companies have been fined for polluting the environment. In 2018, the concentration of PM2.5 in 41 cities in the delta dropped 10.2 percent.
Currently, 15 cities in the region share one health insurance system. This means patients holding insurance in one city but living in another can use the insurance from his or her hometown when paying medical bills in the other.
Despite the progress, the city government said there is still a long way to go. This year, more detailed policies to break down regional barriers must be issued, especially in areas like health, business and infrastructure.