A little more than half a year after the demonstration zone for an ecologically friendly and integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta was established, various cross-regional collaboration projects in the zone have enhanced the delta's integrated development and attracted quality resources.
For years, the management of the Taipu River, a canal connecting Taihu Lake and the Huangpu River, has been problematic.
The river stretches through Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, and the water quality at the junction of any two regions was seriously polluted by factories built nearby.
"There was an urgent need to strengthen communication and coordination among the three regions on water quality management," said Shen Xiaohua, Party secretary of a village in the Fenhu High-Tech Development Zone in Suzhou's Wujiang district, Jiangsu province.
As further development of the Yangtze River Delta integration, three provinces have been cooperating on improving the environment in the area through measures including cleaning up trash and demolishing illegally constructed buildings.
The concern was addressed by one of the projects completed since October, drafting the first-ever cross-regional regulation on setting up a unified system for river patrolling, monitoring, law enforcement, river cleaning and governance of the junction area.
"The regulation breaks down administrative barriers and serves as an integrated platform for water management," said Shen Jianwei, deputy director of the reform department responsible for the project in Wujiang district.
"We are also building an online platform for data sharing on all cross-regional rivers along the three regions for better collaborative governance," Shen said.
The water quality of the Taipu River has gradually improved from seriously polluted to Grade III of China's five-grade quality classification. It is now potable.
The cross-regional regulation is one of the innovations explored in the demonstration zone for ecologically friendly and integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta since it was established in November.
The zone, spanning 2,300 square kilometers in the middle of the delta, consists of Qingpu district in Shanghai, Wujiang district in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, and Jiashan county in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province.
Environmental protection, cross-regional transportation and innovation projects are already in progress or in planning, and achievements have been made in the past seven months.
Innoscience, a domestic high-tech enterprise for electronic semiconductor device research and development, plans to build an R&D base in the Fenhu high-tech area of Wujiang district because of the region's environmental advantages and geographic proximity to cities in the delta.
Innoscience has another base in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.
The main construction of the base in Wujiang has been completed. The project with a total investment of over 6.85 billion yuan ($960 million) aims to produce 780,000 power control circuits and electronic semiconductor devices in three years of beginning production.
The products can be used in such industries as autonomous vehicles and solar energy.
In Jiashan county, a green channel opened up for serving enterprises in the zone reduced last year the time required for companies to get business licenses.
In July, Mo Xuefeng, general manager of Aficion, a chocolate producer in Jiashan, got a business license issued by the Shanghai authority in only about two hours.
Instead of traveling to Shanghai, Mo got the license in Jiashan.
"Getting a cross-provincial business license previously would take at least a day, and I would have had to bring print documents and official seals to Shanghai," Mo said.
"Now, I just had to upload materials on the service center's online system in advance and then go to the center in Jiashan to sign some documents."
Qin Jirong contributed to the story.