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Beijing City Government to Move to Tongzhou

By Steven Schwankert from The Beijinger

Beijing will move its municipal government offices to Tongzhou in an effort to reduce pollution and traffic congestion in the city center, Chinese and foreign media are reporting.
New Tongzhou
Although not finalized, the move would be part of a two-pronged plan by both the central government and the municipal government to restructure the area. Beijing is looking to improve conditions in the center of the city, while the central government wants to more closely integrate Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei province.

Tongzhou lies east of central Beijing and is connected by bus and subway lines. One area that may be developed specifically for government use is Lucheng, now the eastern terminus of Beijing Subway Line 6, currently home to little more than a baseball field, and not far from the Hebei province bedroom community of Yanjiao.

Beijing municipality, which is directly administered by the central government, covers almost 16,500 square kilometers, giving the municipal government considerable leeway in choosing an alternate location for government offices.

Beijing Tongzhou
The city will accelerate the shift of its non-capital functions to Tongzhou and other nearby places, and progress should be evident by 2017, according to the Beijing municipal committee of the Communist Party of China.

Tongzhou's position as Beijing's sub-administrative center was decided a long time ago in the city's plan, and now it is confirmed by the officals. Other municipal institutions such as service centers, industry associations, research institutes and some publication agencies will also move to Tongzhou.

The Beijing municipal government itself will move to Tongzhou, and it is expected that the process will be finished before 2017, Shanghai-based financial newspaper the 21st Century Business Herald reported on Sunday, citing an unidentified Beijing government source.

The excessive concentration of administration departments is a cause of Beijing's "urban disease", and moving the municipal government to Tongzhou is part of the devolution of Beijing's non-capital functions. This process is the core of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region coordinated development plan.

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