The Chinese government has revealed plans to boost the economic prowess of the mainland city of Shenzhen, taking over from Hong Kong, which has been China’s economic powerhouse ever since it was relinquished by the British.

Shenzhen was formerly a quiet and sleepy fishing village, but it has since been developed into a hi-tech capital just over the border from Hong Kong. The government plans to carry out bolder reforms as a model for other Chinese cities and replacing Hong Kong as the business hub of the nation.

The goal is to make the city a leader in terms of innovation, public service and environmental protection by 2025. The plan also aimed to make Shenzhen competitive in the world in terms of comprehensive economic abilities by 2035, with further aspirations to turn the city into a global benchmark for competitiveness and innovation by the middle of the century.

The state has also placed special emphasis on plans to integrate Hong Kong and Macau further into the Greater Bay Area scheme, which aims to link said cities with Shenzhen and eight others in Guangdong to form an economic and business hub. The scheme is centered around four cities designated as four “pillars” of development. These cities include Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou.

Additionally, the scheme would include promoting connections between Shenzhen’s financial market and those in Hong Kong and Macau, as well as expanding financial regulation and the portfolio of financial products available to trade bonds and foreign exchange.

With the US-China trade war locked-in with no clear signs of alleviating, China is betting on the hi-tech sector to spur development and reduce reliance on imports of key and critical technologies.

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