Beijing will expand its international "circle of friends" by accelerating the implementation of more global services and projects and establishing core areas for exchanges.
A five-year plan issued by the municipal Party committee and the Beijing municipal government on Thursday, called for more "active and vibrant" exchanges in a number of areas to improve the country's diplomatic efforts, international exchanges and communication, and international services.
The move aims to equip Beijing as an international exchange center by 2025, which will also be achieved through changes to its physical layout, said Feng Jian, deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Office of Beijing, who released the plan at a news conference.
"We will create a core area that serves the country's top-level international exchanges and can host major diplomatic events near Yanqi Lake in the capital city's Huairou district," said Feng, adding that the second phase of the National Convention Center in Beijing's Chaoyang district will be built to establish an exhibition complex with multiple formats.
A new international business center will also be established at Dongba in the northeast of Chaoyang district, covering an area of 35.5 square kilometers, said Yang Jun, vice-chairwoman of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Planning and Natural Resources.
Around 12 sq km has been earmarked for the international cooperation services area. Beijing's fourth embassy quarter is also currently under construction in Dongba, Yang added.
"In the future, a tax-refund and tax-free consumption area will be built in Dongba and high-level international schools will also be introduced to promote the construction of international talent communities," she said. A "second Sanlitun" area, known for its trendy shops and international luxury brands, will soon complete construction in Dongba.
Feng pointed to the upcoming 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games as events where action plans have already been formulated and implemented to improve international communication.
In the medical health field, Beijing will deepen international cooperation on anti-epidemic measures, enhance communication with foreign countries in sharing epidemic prevention and control experiences, and support the promotion and use of domestic vaccines overseas, according to the plan.
Li Ang, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, said the capital city will optimize medical services for foreigners and provide specialized medical treatment for foreign patients.
"We will further strengthen the construction of the international medical services system to meet the demand for diversified and international medical services, and improve overall international medical service capabilities," Li said.