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State Council Issues Opinions on Key Function Area Planning of China and ZENG Peiyan Puts Forward Five Requirements
The State Council of China lately issued the Opinions on Key Function Area Planning of China, according to which the draft of Key Function Area Plan of China will be finished in September 2007 for broad consultation. It is stated in the Opinions that the key function area planning will help breaking the administrative boundaries and establishing and implementing the effective performance evaluation system.

On Sept. 14, Vice Premier ZENG Peiyan attended the teleconference on the Planning of China’s Key Function Area held by the State Council, putting forward five requirements on the planning in his speech. Firstly, the spatial conditions of the national territory should be analyzed objectively, and the population, resource, environment, and socio-economic conditions in different regions should be evaluated comprehensively. Secondly, the key functions of different areas should be defined rationally, while the spatial layout of the optimized development areas, the key development areas, the limited development areas, and the non-development areas should be clarified. Thirdly, the urban and land-use planning should be based on the key function area planning, so as to comprehensively raise the economic, social, and ecological benefits. Fourthly, the effects of the policies of finance, industry, investment, land, environment protection, and population should be fully exerted, so as to implement the categorized supervision and the differentiated performance evaluation and examination in different key function areas. Fifthly, the scientificity and efficiency of the planning should be promoted with efforts through effective organization and instruction, constant completion of institution, thorough investigation and research, and perpetual improvement of planning schemes.

The “national key function area zoning” is the new method of territory planning brought forward by the 11th Five-year Plan for National Socio-economic Development, according to which the whole territory of China is divided into the key function areas of four categories, i.e., the optimized development area, the key development area, the limited development area, and the non-development area, in accordance with the different bearing capacities of resources and environment, as well as the actual development density and the future development potential of different regions. The Opinions states that the national key function area plan is a strategic, fundamental, and restraining plan which forms the basis of the national socio-economic development plans, the regional plans, as well as the city plans. According to the plan, the traditional administrative boundaries will be broken, and all the policies and evaluation patterns will be based on the function area zoning. Regarding the key function areas of optimized development, key development, limited development, and non-development, it clarifies the development direction, improves the development policies, regulates the development order, and monitors the development intensity. According to the 11th Five-year Plan for National Socio-Economic Development, which was approved on the fourth session of the 10th National People’s Congress held in March 2006, the 243 national natural reserves, 31 world cultural and natural heritages, 187 national key scenery areas, 565 national forest parks, and 138 national geologic parks are classified as non-development area, and the 22 ecological function areas, desertification prevention and cure areas, soil erosion prevention and cure areas, stony desertification prevention and cure areas are classified as limited development area.

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