Chongming has a proud rural culture that is embracing revitalisation

Li Xinran
Its vast communities are marching forward to create a liveable ecological environment with clear water and lush forests.
Li Xinran
Chongming has a proud rural culture that is embracing revitalisation
Ti Gong

The national bird reserve in Dongtan

For more than 1,400 years, the wind and waves of the river and sea have forged the muscles and bones of the sons and daughters who make the tide, and the magnificent scenery has cultivated the spirit of the people of Chongming. Hence, standing up to the tide is a strong faith that all Chongmingers hold.

The history of Chongming is a history of reclamation. The numerous sand bars with fluctuating growth and contraction did not gradually take shape until the middle of the 20th century.

Several generations of Chongming people spent decades filling rivers and expanding land, and finally created the third largest island in China. Today's Chongming is a vast fertile land thanks to the courage of our predecessors who sought to claim more land from the river and the sea.

Nowadays, Chongming has preliminarily built an ecological environment with clear water, lush forests and livable ecology. The construction of an ecological island has been integrated into the whole process of Chongming's economic and social development.

Published in February, the 14th Five-Year Plan for the Economic and Social Development of Chongming District and the Outline of the Long-term Goals for the Year of 2035 pointed out that by 2025 Chongming will promote the construction of a world-class ecological island to achieve major breakthroughs, and comprehensively build a new ecological high ground. It will also create a new demonstration of green development, a new model of happiness and livability, a new benchmark for urban and rural governance, and a new pattern of openness and innovation.

By 2035, Chongming Island will turn itself into a world-class ecological island for demonstration and play a leading role in ecological environment, resource utilization, development mode, habitat quality, humanistic quality, urban and rural governance.

Over the past two decades, facing the new pioneering undertaking without any precedent, Chongming has always given priority to protecting, repairing and building ecology, strengthened ecological confidence, maintained strategic determination and bravely overcome difficulties.

In the three stages of building an ecological island (2001-2009), building a modern ecological island (2010-2015) and building a world-class ecological island (from 2016), Chongming vigorously promoted the integrated development of production and life. It actively explored the green development of harmonious coexistence between human and nature and coordinated economic and social development.

In this process, historical changes have taken place in ecological environment governance. Hence, Chongming focused on ecological facilities, and deeply implemented the master plan for the three islands of Chongming District, the outline for the construction of Chongming Ecological Island, the 13th Five-Year Plan for the development of a world-class ecological island and the three-year action plan for environmental protection.

Since 2010, Chongming has spent 96 billion yuan (US$15 billion) in fulfilling the three-year action plan for four rounds of ecological island construction, vigorously promoted the demonstration and construction of green development in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and paid close attention to the construction of 100 major ecological projects in the past three years.

The number of waterfowl species, accounting for more than 1 percent of the global population, has increased from seven in 2000 to 14 in 2020, and the total number of bird species has increased from 98 in 2000 to 298 in 2020. The per capita public green area increased from 2.6 square meters in 2000 to 8.33 square meters in 2020, and the forest coverage increased from 9.77 percent in 1999 to 30.05 percent in 2020.

Chongming also created a new pattern of ecological economic development. Based on the advantages of the ecological environment, the island district accelerated the construction of a modern ecological economic system.

Chongming adheres to green development, promotes green upgrading of industrial structure, and accelerates the transformation of industrial parks toward the trends of scientific and technological R&D, ecological and cultural innovation and smart manufacturing,

A number of projects, such as the incubator of a smart island big data industrial park, have been put into operation while Changxing Island is making every effort to develop a marine economy, service economy and innovation economy, and accelerating the construction of high-quality marine equipment industry clusters.

It firmly grasps the requirements of the high-quality development trend of the marine economy, takes the initiative to embrace smart manufacturing, fully stimulates new kinetic energy, strives to set sail and build a 100 billion yuan marine equipment industry cluster, and accelerates the formation of a modern industrial system dominated by marine equipment. These will turn Changxing into an important site for Shanghai manufacturing brands and a leader in marine scientific and technological innovation.

At the same time, Chongming is expanding a new service industry, focusing on cultivating modern new industries such as tourism and leisure, sports and recreation, e-commerce and livestreaming.

As a byproduct, Chongming will develop ecotourism, introduce and develop major cultural tourism projects, pay close attention to brand building, promote the integrated development of agricultural tourism, flower tourism, cultural tourism, sports tourism and health tourism, and create a high-quality ecological leisure tourism resort.

In addition, the district has added a large number of high-grade scenic spots, high-quality hotels and high-quality guest houses, and created a large number of cultural and tourism festival brands and major events, so as to continuously improve the economic contribution.

Amid the development of the online new economy, Chongming will focus on key areas such as intelligent factories, industrial Internet, livestreaming e-commerce and audio-visual network, cultivate and expand a number of high-quality digital enterprises, build Internet industrial clusters and improve the level of industrial digitization.

With improving industrial competitiveness, Chongming will explore the mode of high-quality land use, promote the innovation, transformation and development of each industrial park, and create a number of new industrial parks with distinctive characteristics.

Seizing the opportunity to successfully host the 10th China Flower Expo, Chongming accelerated the development of a modern flower industry, the comprehensive upgrading of main infrastructure and the change of its countryside.

Chongming makes every effort to do a good job in the post flower expo era. It built a flower expo park, will consolidate and expand the flower industry chain, extend the flower expo value chain, promote the accelerated development of the flower industry, and create a modern agricultural development mode for demonstration and beautiful rural scenery full of pastoral interest.

By improving the preferential policies for the flower industry, Chongming created a whole of industry chain of flower R&D, production and sales, and comprehensively promoted green agricultural production. The green food certification rate reached 91.8 percent.

It strengthened high-tech agriculture; comprehensively promoted rural revitalization, deepened the structural reform of the agricultural supply side in the direction of high technology, high quality and high added value, implemented global precision investment in agriculture, introduced international leading technologies and leading agricultural firms at home and abroad, and gathered and developed urban modern agriculture. It also cultivated new agricultural business entities and promoted the reduction of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

Hence, it explores and implements large-scale, standardized and ecological planting and breeding, constantly improves the level of agricultural branding, clustering and science and technology, and promotes the development of the whole industrial chain of agricultural products "from field to table."

Chongming strengthens its in-depth cooperation with well-known universities and scientific research institutes at home and abroad in fields of seeds, intelligent agriculture and technical services to promote the integrated development of industry, university, research and application of seed source, and to create a high-tech agricultural demonstration area with world influence

Over the past two decades, the added value, fiscal revenue and per capita disposable income of rural residents in Chongming have increased by 5.4 times, 20 times and 5.8 times respectively.

The district also largely improved its infrastructure by building the Shanghai Yangtze River Tunnel Bridge, Chongming-Qidong Bridge and a 45km road circumscribing the island.

It built two reservoirs, five water plants and five sewage treatment plants and developed clean energy such as natural gas, wind power and photovoltaic energy. The installed capacity of renewable energy reached 491,900kw last year. Riding on the streets are new energy buses and taxis.

It protects the original natural ecological environment of Hengsha, the smallest of the three islands, pays close attention to the construction of Hengsha modern agricultural industrial park, promotes the beautiful ecology, industry, countryside, rivers and lakes, and culture of Hengsha to maintain the original Hengsha with unique charm and full of pastoral style.

Chongming always implements the important concept of "people's city by the people, and people's city for the people," and creates a better new life.

Understanding the reality that Chongming is the largest rural area in Shanghai, it firmly grasps the three major aspects of agriculture, rural areas and farmers, accelerates the promotion of high-quality and efficient agriculture, rural livability and industry, and farmers' prosperity, which inspires the strong vitality of Rural Revitalization.

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