Beijing needs to allow polluting heavy industry to move out of the capital and focus on economic development, the city's executive deputy mayor said.
The capital should be more selective in the industries it promoted and growth should be driven by high-end, creative and low-carbon businesses, Li Shixiang told the People's Daily, the Communist Party's mouthpiece.
Li also dismissed rumours that institutions, including some universities, hospitals and central government-owned enterprises, would have to move part of their operations out of the capital as part of a strategy to co-ordinate the development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, the report said.
"We object to relying on administrative measures to do this," Li said. "It is up to an enterprise to decide itself where to put its headquarters. But, indeed, many functions do not need to be located in Beijing, such as support departments."
Li said 60 per cent of patients at some Beijing hospitals were not from the capital, not because they cannot be treated locally but because they wished to get the best treatment available.
"If these hospitals could set up a branch outside Beijing, wouldn't that solve the problem?" Li asked. "We do not mean universities and hospitals need to relocate their main campuses, but that they should no longer expand and should be encouraged to set up branches outside Beijing."
Li Chaogang, party secretary of the capital's Fengtai district, said some manufacturing should be moved out of Beijing to Hebei and Tianjin while the capital focused its resources on more creative, hi-tech industries. He also said the city was trying to phase out operations, such as the wholesale clothes market at Dahongmen.
"One person working there usually comes with four relatives [from outside Beijing], putting great pressure on resources, urban management and social management," he said.
Beijing party secretary Guo Jinlong said said earlier this month the municipal government would take "resolute action" to eliminate industries that attracted the most migrant workers to the capital, the China News Service reported. Guo said the aim was to curb the rapid growth of the local population.
The capital has been pushing out heavily polluting industries, such as steel manufacturing, for several years.