Which animal can represent the image of a sunny, energetic and mature city?
The choice for Wenling, a coastal city in east China's Zhejiang Province, is the lion. The city's mascot is "The lion of the dawn", an energetic and lively cartoon portray of the "king of the animal".
If China is a peaceful, pleasant, and civilized lion, Wenling, as one of the top 100 most economically developed counties in China, a national ecological demonstration zone and a national pilot unit for rural governance system development, is a pioneering, justice-minded, optimistic, and kind-hearted lion.
An economically powerful "lion"
In 2022, Wenling's GDP exceeded 130 billion yuan, making it one of the outstanding club of 50-plus Chinese cities whose GDP topped 100 billion yuan, according to the People's Government of Wenling Municipality.
Over the past four decades, with the continuous improvement of the business environment, Wenling has created a miraculous economic growth by encouraging local governments to nurture niche market competitiveness. Its comprehensive strength, industrial prowess, innovation ability, scientific and technological competitiveness has ranked among the country's top 100 counties and cities.
For example, the output of small pumps produced here alone accounts for two-thirds of the national market, among which the output of well submersible pumps, agricultural submersible pumps, household canned pumps and other categories ranks first in the world.
In addition, Wenling's machine tool equipment industry cluster has been rated as a national model. Its footwear industry is so developed that nearly one of the ten pairs of the shoes on earth come from Wenling. Wenling-made automobile and motorcycle parts are also well-known in the industry. Emerging industries such as laser chips, intelligent equipment, bio-medicine, energy conservation and environmental protection are also in the ascendant.
Up to now, Wenling has four demonstration enterprises or products with a leading market status in manufacturing industry, 26 national-level specialized and innovative "little giant" enterprises, seven provincial-level "invisible champions", 102 provincial-level specialized and innovative SMEs and 331 provincial-level innovative SMEs. The city's cultivation of specialized and innovative enterprises is at the forefront of the whole province.
An innovative and open-minded "lion"
Wenling's strong economic strength benefits from the city's good business environment. Underscoring fairness and justice, Wenling has boldly carried out reforms while abiding laws.
The indicators of various administrative review and approval procedures, such as setting up enterprises, obtaining electricity, registering property, and cancellation of enterprises, have logged the highest scores in Zhejiang. The business environment evaluation index has ranked the top of the province for three consecutive years. Wenling is now home to over 160,000 market entities and sees an average of 81 entrepreneurs emerge every day.
Xu Haijun, chairman of Zhejiang Reci Laser Technology Co., Ltd was also attracted by the local business environment when he chose to settle in Wenling, which had no laser industry foundation then.
Last year, Wenling hosted the first high-level conference on utilizing the power of Wenling entrepreneurs. Leveraging the 10-billion-yuan industrial fund, Wenling introduced 31 projects with a total investment of more than 23 billion yuan. Among them, there are seven projects with each worth more than 1 billion yuan and two entrepreneurial projects led by academicians.
A pioneering and entrepreneurial "lion"
The city's character is integrated with a pioneering spirit featuring a willingness to explore all paths, go through all troubles, try all means and endure all hardships. It has nurtured a venturing and daring culture among Wenling people, which has created a development momentum that emboldens officials, local governments, and the public to take initiatives.
Since the reform and opening up in the late 1970s, Wenling people, represented by local entrepreneurs, have taken the lead in market-oriented reform, achieving the first self-employed business license, the first joint-stock cooperative enterprise, the first privately controlled high-speed rail in China and many other top honors.
Today, nearly 50,000 Wenling people have started businesses in more than 40 countries and regions around the world, and over 350,000 people are doing business across China, injecting a strong impetus into local development.
Wang Yun'an, founder of tea drink brand Goodme headquartered in Wenling, is one of the new generation of Wenling entrepreneurs. Thirteen years ago, Wang, then a fresh college graduate, planned to open a milk tea shop in his hometown of Daxi Town in Wenling, which was unprecedented in the town.
A series of requirements almost overwhelmed the young man. Fortunately, the reform-minded local industrial and commercial office took the initiative to find solutions and issued the first business license of milk tea shop for him.
"Without the push of the local industrial and commercial office, there wouldn't be our goal of opening over 10,000 outlets," Wang said.
A gentle and kind-hearted "lion"
Wenling is home to 16 national moral models. Wang Xiangyun, leader of a local volunteer team, has worked with team members to deliver over 900,000 loaves of free bread to those in need for nearly 10 years. A Hua has made himself a close member to local lonely elders thanks to his consistent good deeds for 15 years.
There are more than 224,000 registered volunteers on Wenling's official cultural activity platform. In 2022, Wenling held over 119,000 volunteer activities with more than 1.24 million participations, demonstrating the city's urban civilization with volunteerism.
Chinese modernization is China's answer to the important historical issue of how to awaken the "sleeping lion" and realize national rejuvenation.
Along the bright path of Chinese modernization, Wenling aims to build a city with a robust high-quality private economy, agreeable conditions for business and living, and a benchmark of modern county governance, making marked headway on the new journey of the new era.
A "shining lion" is running with all its strength in the east of China.
Source: The People's Government of Wenling Municipality