By Chen Haoguang
Jiangmen is known as the ancestral homeland for many overseas Chinese. For centuries, generations of Jiangmen people travelled and settled abroad, making great contributions to the development of the host country and region, and creating a grand scene of "two Jiangmens at home and abroad". Today, there are about 5.3 million people originated from Jiangmen in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and abroad, which has become a key advantage for Jiangmen to integrate into its new development paradigm.
At present, Jiangmen is actively implementing its initiatives of "Capitalization on the Homeland of Overseas Chinese" and "Integration with Hong Kong and Macao". The successful kick-off event the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has proposed local opportunities to overseas Chinese businessmen. The "Jiangmen" China-Laos and China-Europe international freight trains have been put into operation, creating convenient channels for international trade. We have also launched a short video streaming campaign of "Wuyi Overseas Chinese Honouring China", focusing on telling stories of Jiangmen celebrities. A series of new deployments were accelerated, further promoting Jiangmen's opening-up to a new level, and thus boosting high-quality development with a broader mindset.
▲Yinhuwan Binhai New Area Photo by Jiang Xuan
Leverage the RCEP to boost momentums in high-quality development
In recent years, Jiangmen has won investment projects from the world's top 500 enterprises, such as Electricite De France, BP, BASF and Emerson. A number of well-known international enterprises, such as Lee Kum Kee and Astros Printing, have also expand their existence in Jiangmen. All these are the fruits of Jiangmen's translation of its overseas Chinese roots into urban development advantages.
In order to help Jiangmen enterprises capture the cooperation opportunities with RCEP countries and European countries, and promote Jiangmen products towards ASEAN and the European Union, Jiangmen has now routinely run the "Jiangmen" China-Laos and China-Europe freight train, opening up a new overland route for economic and trade exchanges between the Western Pearl River Delta and Western Guangdong regions and Europe and ASEAN.
Jiangmen has also set up the first RCEP economic, trade, technology and cultural cooperation exchange center in China, and jointly held a series of events for the founding of the Alliance of Guangdong Merchants in RCEP Member Countries with CCPIT Guangdong Council to help overseas Chinese enterprises expand the market in RCEP countries and strive to create a demonstration area in Jiangmen for RCEP Guangdong economic and trade cooperation. At present, Jiangmen has attracted more than 80 enterprises from Hong Kong, Macao and RCEP member countries.
Jiangmen has achieved impressive results since the implementation of RCEP: In the first half of 2022, the total import and export volume of Jiangmen was RMB 90.12 billion, growing 11.3% over the previous year, the amount attributable to RCEP trading partners was RMB 19.59 billion, a growth of 15.8%.
▲On 6th August, the 2022 "Youth China Talk" International Wushu Exchange Conference of the Homeland of Overseas Chinese was kicked-off in Jiangmen. Photo by Jiang Xuan
Leverage the power of overseas Chinese to attract both investment and talents
In order to further accelerate the capitalization of Jiangmen's position as the "hometown of overseas Chinese" as a development advantage and to better attract overseas Chinese to return to China for investment and business, Jiangmen municipality formulated and issued the Special Reform Pilot Plan of Jiangmen to Facilitate the Investment of Overseas Chinese.
In recent years, the Jiangmen municipality has cooperated with Tsinghua University, Jinan University, Nanyang Technological University Singapore, Guangdong Base for Theoretical Research on Overseas Chinese Affairs under the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, China Overseas Chinese Institute and other institutions to strengthen the research on new situations and trends of overseas Chinese affairs at home and abroad, the research on global policies on overseas Chinese affairs, and the training talents for handling overseas Chinese affairs. Hong Kong and Macao youth innovation and entrepreneurship bases, such as Zhuxi Innovation Valley and Zhuxi Advanced Industry Excellent Talent Innovation Park, have been built with high standards, attracting 102 projects from Hong Kong and Macao. More than 100 enterprises have settled in the campus in the Guangdong Macao (Jiangmen) Industrial Cooperation Demonstration Zone. 84 Hong Kong and Macao entrepreneurship teams are under incubation. 76 overseas talents are recommended to apply for the national talent award plan.
In August, the "Converging the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Uniting for the Future - Jiangmen Global Investment Conference" was held, with three venues in Hong Kong, Macao and Jiangmen. Through joint offline and online promotion, the conference successfully promoted the signing of 111 projects, with a total planned investment of more than RMB 166.1 billion.
▲The first "Jiangmen" China-Europe freight train was departing on 28th April, 2022, making it the first China Europe freight train in western Guangdong. Photo by Li Jianqun
the connection with overseas Chinese and taking new initiatives in cultural exchange and communication
In August, the 2022 "Youth China Talk" International Wushu Exchange Conference of the Homeland of Overseas Chinese was kicked-off in Jiangmen. Overseas Chinese with Jiangmen roots and those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan watched the live streaming of the event on the Internet. Taking wushu as the representation of connections of Jiangmen people at home and abroad, Jiangmen actively promoted the " Capitalization on the Homeland of Overseas Chinese" initiative.
Jiangmen has accelerated the construction of Overseas Chinese Museum and Chikan Ancient Town Overseas Chinese Culture Exhibition Tourism; successfully hosted multiple events, such as Qiaopi (literally means "Letter of Overseas Chinese") Cultural Exhibition, Liang Qichao's Cultural Month, and "Youth China Talk" series activities; put on original musical and dancing performances such as Birds Paradise and Dai Ailian... Since the beginning of 2022, Jiangmen has seized the advantages of cultural resources and focused on gathering the hearts of overseas Chinese with culture, with remarkable achievements.
To strengthen the protection and capitalization of overseas Chinese culture, Jiangmen has also established an international cultural exchange base for overseas Chinese, a material and cultural research base in Guangdong Province, a cultural research center for the homeland of overseas Chinese, and a provincial ecological protection experimental area for the culture of the hometown of overseas Chinese (Jiangmen).
Serving Hong Kong and Macao and expanding the depth and breadth of cooperation in various fields
Over the years, cooperation between Jiangmen and Hong Kong and Macao in various fields has flourished in many ways, and thus created good relations at both the governmental and non-governmental levels. With the acceleration of the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the "1+6+3" work arrangement made by Jiangmen Municipal Party Committee last year, it is proposed to further implement the " Integration Hong Kong Macao " initiative, actively expand the depth and breadth of cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao, so as to create new edges in international cooperation and competition.
Serving the overall principle of "one country, two systems" and maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao is the ultimate goal for Jiangmen, as the homeland of overseas Chinese and an important hub in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. This can be seen from the Jiangmen Global Investment Promotion Conference held in Hong Kong, Macao and Jiangmen on 6th August. More than 400 merchants from China and abroad gathered at the conference, and 111 projects in industrial, technological and financing fields were signed on site. This is a practical measure taken by Jiangmen to adhere to its original intention of serving Hong Kong and Macao and actively respond to major concerns.
▲50,000 copies of Qiaopi documents were provided by Jiangmen. Photo by Li Jianqun
Revitalize and preserve the cultural heritage of Qiaopi, a symbol of family and national connection
Qiaopi, literally meaning "Letter of Overseas Chinese", is a special postal carrier that integrates "correspondence" and "remittance receipts " sent by overseas Chinese to their families back in China through non-governmental organizations. They are an important manifestation of the Chinese nation's commitment to credibility and commitment. It was listed in the Memory of the World Heritage in 2013.
As an ancestral homeland for many overseas Chinese, Jiangmen is at the forefront for preserving and studying these heritage documents. It is reported that among the 160,000 original copies of Qiaopi applying for the Memory of the World List, nearly 50,000 copies were provided by Jiangmen. The earliest copy of Qiaopi in China also comes from Jiangmen. In the past two years, the propaganda division of Jiangmen Municipal Party Committee has taken the initiative to preserve, manage and study the Qiaopi documents, deeply excavate and display the concept of integrity and belonging contained in them, and formed a heritage activation, preservation, application and upgrading path that is unique to Jiangmen.
The Qiaopi culture in Jiangmen is going out of the unseen archives and become an important cultural carrier for Jiangmen to tell the stories of Guangdong and China in the new era, and an important spiritual link to unite the consensus of overseas Chinese across the globe and realize the Chinese Dream.
In the future, Jiangmen will continue to make good use of its overseas Chinese resources, further implement the "Capitalization on the Homeland of Overseas Chinese" initiative with an aim of constructing a new blueprint of economic and cultural cooperation demonstration zone for overseas Chinese. The construction of the Greater Guanghai Bay Economic Zone and the Yinhuwan Binhai New Area are Jiangmen municipal’s main direction to build a cooperation and development platform for attracting investment and intelligence from Hong Kong, Macao and overseas Chinese across the globe. It is also accelerating the construction of China (Jiangmen) "Qiaomengyuan" overseas Chinese innovation industry cluster and the national platform comprising three major cooperation clusters in Hengqin, Qianhai and Nansha for coordinated development, which promotes the restoration of overseas Chinese economy.