The Chinese government approved a new area in central China's Hunan Province to stimulate regional growth and accelerate the opening up of the country's interior.
The Xiangjiang New Area, the first of its kind to be approved in central China, is located on the west bank of the Xiang River and comprised of several districts of Changsha City. It covers an area of 490 square kilometers, according to a statement released Saturday on the website of the central government.
The approval brought the total number of "state-level new areas" to 12. Shanghai's Pudong New Area, the first new area in China, was established in 1992, and the others are scattered across Tianjin, Chongqing, Zhejiang, Gansu and Guangdong, among other regions. China uses the new areas to test reforms, pilot opening-up policies and experiment with other innovations.
The government aims to build the new area into a high-tech manufacturing and innovation base, which will aid the development of central China and the Yangtze economic belt, the statement said.