Chinese backwater becomes centre of Xi’s futuristic dream city

April 4, 2017

For residents of the sleepy town of Xiongxian in smoggy Hebei province, Saturday’s announcement by China’s state news agency that it would become the centre of a new special economic zone, handpicked by President Xi Jinping, was a bolt out of the blue.

Xiongxian rocketed overnight from a forgotten backwater spot on China’s economic map to the darling of mainland investors after Xinhua said the Xiongan New Area, covering three rural counties – Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin – would be as important for China in the future as Shenzhen in the 1980s and Shanghai Pudong in the 1990s. (Photo: Reuters)