Zhejiang's Zhoushan islands leading the way to an inspired future
Zhoushan, in the northeast of Zhejiang Province, has 2,085 islands and 2,444 kilometers of coastline. It is known as the "city of a thousand islands," and is also China's only city based on islands.
Limited land, a small population and a lack of industry have not restricted the continuous growth of Zhoushan's economy, nor have they shaken the local government's determination to "always enrich the people."
In the past two years, Zhoushan's economy has grown by an average of 10.3 percent, with a per capita GDP of 128,600 yuan (US$19,123), which is a vivid portrayal of its long-term vision, ability to learn from the past and its philosophy of enriching the people as the outline for policies, and constantly enriching and balancing its economic structure.
The ongoing island common wealth strategy is a vivid "script" for the country to explore the road of common wealth.
It aims to create 30 beautiful islands through three years of action, become a brand name for the high-quality development and a demonstration area of common prosperity in Zhejiang Province, and become a showcase of best practice for the development of islands globally.
At the junction of China's north-south coastal routes and the Yangtze River waterway, Zhoushan is a maritime gateway and a channel for the opening up of the Yangtze River Basin and the Yangtze River Delta.
Last year, Zhoushan achieved a GDP of 170.36 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 8.4 percent, with a bright growth outlook.
In 2021, the cargo throughput of the Ningbo-Zhoushan port reached 1.2 billion tons, ranking first in the country.
On December 29, 2021, the 25.7-kilometer Zhoudai Bridge officially opened to traffic, which means Daishan has completely ended its long history of no land access and officially entered the "peninsula era."
Industrial transformation and upgrading accelerated, and the comprehensive strength reached a new level. In recent years, the people of Daishan more and more have a sense of gain, happiness and security.
The quality of the island town has been greatly improved and the creation of a garden island has been accelerated. The people here share and build on happiness.
In 2021, Daishan County's GDP was 53.08 billion yuan, 3.2 times that of 2016, with an average annual growth of 21.6 percent. The added value of industries with an annual income exceeding 20 million yuan has exceeded 30 billion yuan, with an average annual growth of 57.2 percent, leading Zhejiang Province.
The total investment in fixed assets exceeded 200 billion yuan, 3.8 times that of the previous five years. The per capita disposable income of urban and rural permanent residents reached 61,759 yuan and 43,048 yuan respectively, with an average annual growth of 7.5 percent and 8.7 percent, and the income ratio narrowed to 1.43:1.
In 2022, ushering in the "opening-up of Daishan" and the "peninsula era," the island county is striving to write a new chapter of high-quality development and the creation of a prosperous island model.
A bird's-eye view of the area between the hills and the coastline of the county's Yushan Island in summer shows the large oil refining and chemical facilities that have sprung up.
A number of oil and petrochemical products transportation terminals are lined up, and large cargo ships keep coming and going.
Here, the single project with the largest scale of domestic refining and chemical plants and the largest domestic one-time investment in building the petrochemical industry stands tall.
The first phase of the Zhejiang Petrochemical Project has been in steady operation and the second phase has been basically completed, with a cumulative investment of more than 160 billion yuan and an output value of more than 130 billion yuan in 2021, making it the first 100-billion-yuan output enterprise in Zhoushan.
Last year, the total unloading volume of iron ore in Shulang Lake exceeded 33 million tons, the total berthing of 400,000-ton super-large ships exceeded 200, cargo throughput exceeded 200 million tons, and the annual mixed ore blending volume exceeded 17 million tons, which made Shulang Lake the largest mixed ore blending base in China.
The first 1.51-million-cubic-meter phase of the ground storage tank project of the Huangze Mountain oil storage and transportation base was completed and put into operation.
The second phase of 1.04 million cubic meters and the construction of the Huangze Mountain-Yu Shan Mountain crude oil pipeline were accelerated, and the berthing of 300,000 tonnage oil tankers became common.
The construction of a combined river-sea transport service center was accelerated, and the county's maritime transport capacity exceeded 2 million deadweight tons.
Last year, its port cargo throughput reached 200 million tons, with an average annual growth of 21.1 percent;
Five new open ports have been added, the second phase of the Qushan Subdistrict in the comprehensive bonded area has been accomplished, and the open area of the whole county has reached 470 square kilometers
In the first quarter of this year, Daishan achieved a total GDP of 13.62 billion yuan and a total output of industries with their annual income exceeding 20 million yuan reached 58.5 billion yuan -- highest in Zhejiang Province.
From the end of 2020, the Zhoushan International Fisheries City started the construction project of a digital aquatic city, introducing cutting-edge technologies such as cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence into the whole industrial chain, and realizing intellectualization from fishing vessel unloading to transportation.
The former aquatic products wholesale market has turned into a national multifunctional large-scale market that integrates the trading of live, fresh and frozen aquatic products in one city and integrates tourism, tasting and shopping.
There are more than 600 dealers, with a trading volume of 900,000 tons and a transaction volume of 17 billion yuan last year -- the largest in the country.
"Since 2020, we have invested 27 million yuan to implement digital transformation, and built a number of digital applications and offline supporting service platforms around business scenarios such as comprehensive market management, online transaction expansion, comprehensive data analysis, fishery industry services, cold chain logistics, product traceability and so on," said Zhang Li, head of the strategic digital science and technology innovation department of the Zhoushan International Fisheries City.
Taking cold chain logistics as an example, operators can call a cold chain truck to send fresh catches through mobile applications, effectively improving production and operation efficiency, according to Zhang.
According to the Putuo government, the next step will be to focus on the common prosperity and high-quality development of fisheries, benchmarking the creation of a national unified market and provincial digital reform, building a comprehensive fishery service platform, establishing the concept of "one fish, a whole industry chain," upgrading the "East China Sea Fishing Cloud Warehouse" of the Zhoushan International Fisheries City, focusing on smart market governance, and efficient industrial chain coordination.
The goals of data value application are to build a future market and lead the transformation and upgrading of the professional agricultural wholesale market.
At the foot of the Huangyangjian Mountain, the highest peak in Zhoushan, lies Huangyangjian Village.
Many years ago, the road to the village was narrow and muddy, with low, tiled houses surrounded by small gravel roads.
In just a few decades of the common prosperity strategy, Huangyangjian Village has become a beautiful landmark.
Pass through the towering archway and go all the way along the village road and the trees on both sides are luxuriant, hiding the white walls. And then, the newly repaired folk houses appear in front of you.
A trendy bookstore, distillery, bistro and even a coffee shop are not only pleasing for the eyes, they still retain the original character of the old houses.
"Previously, the popular destinations were abandoned rural houses. We adopted the operation model of 'company + countryside + farmers,' activated more than 40 sets of abandoned rural houses, and formed a rural composite business form integrating ecological sightseeing, characteristic catering, farming experience, parent-child activities, and Red roots so that villagers can share their interests," said Xu Huadong, Party secretary of the village.
In this way, the villagers can participate in the common prosperity -- that is, the rent of land circulation, the shared capital of dividends, the cash from family operations, and the salaries of workers, according to Xu.
Last year, Huangyangjian Village and the rural complex welcomed 170,000 tourists, and a total tourism income of nearly 20 million yuan.
Last year, the total income of the villages' collective economy reached 701,000 yuan, an increase of 24 percent year on year, which helped provide work and a good income for local farmers.
Average household incomes increased more than 10,000 yuan.
In the northwest of Zhoushan, Changbai Islet in Dinghai is rich in industrial resources.
Its total output last year was 900 million yuan, providing nearly 1,000 jobs for locals attracting nearly 5,000 migrant workers.
The islet is using digital technology to develop modern coastal agriculture and tertiary industry.
Smart elderly care, digital medical care and other aspects protect the islanders. To improve the health of the people on the islet, telemedicine diagnosis was improved through local network applications, which effectively solved the difficulties of medical treatment caused by the remote location and poor transport links.
"Previously, I took a boat from the islet for medical treatment. I came and went back for at least one day. I never expected that now I can 'a video consultation,' which is really convenient," said local resident Lin Hong.
Around Gouqi Island, fishing boats shuttle across the sea, and the floats for breeding mussels are like stars. This is the easternmost tip of the Shengsi Archipelago, with a mussel-breeding area of 1,120 hectares.
In 2021, Gouqi Township brought digital management to farmers, breeding boats and breeding areas.
A database includes almost everything: the 1,120-hectare breeding yard, 782 boats and 591 fishermen and link them through numbering and pairing, combined with real-time conditions such as water temperature, hydrology and meteorology, and creating a new intelligent management platform through digital empowerment.
This digital management platform, which integrates the functions of seawater monitoring, marine monitoring, UAV aerial photography, 5G and data analysis, has greatly refined mussel breeding and brings intuitive improvements in quality and benefits. Last year, the total output of mussels in Gouqi was 186 million yuan, an increase of 13.4 percent year on year.
"We should continue the upgrading of digital platforms and promote the improvement in quality and efficiency of the whole mussel industry chain," said Wu Jianbo, Party secretary of Shengsi County.
The management and technical improvement of mussel industry chain paves the people's road to prosperity.
When the wind blows, these changes are the epitome of Zhoushan's adaptation to local conditions and island policies to fully inspire the islands' development potential.
Daishan County, Dinghai Changbai Island, the Zhoushan International Fisheries City, Huangyangjian Village and, Shengsi's Gouqi Township ... these are not only a demonstration of Zhoushan on the road to building common prosperity, but also a steering wheel for Zhoushan to ride the wind to turn theory into institutional innovation and practical innovation.
On this new journey, Zhoushan will take solving the regional, urban-rural and income gaps as its main direction, relying on geographical advantages, taking the lead in promoting the dynamic change of marine economic quality and efficiency, building a global-level marine city, promoting the coordinated and integrated development of urban and rural areas, and taking the lead in providing high-quality public services throughout the life cycle of its people.
As a pacesetter, Zhoushan will contribute to the high-quality development and creation of a common prosperity demonstration zone in Zhejiang.
Looking forward to 2035, the per capita GDP of Zhoushan will exceed 300,000 yuan, and urbanization will reach about 80 percent.