Beijing's new airport will promote regional and global connectivity

China Plus Published: 2019-09-25 22:23:14
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Note: The following article is taken from the Chinese-language "Commentaries on International Affairs."

The much-anticipated landmark Beijing Daxing International Airport was opened by China’s President Xi Jinping at a ceremony on Wednesday. The new airport is expected to become an internationally-important transportation hub that serves the needs of China's development, and connects China more closely with the rest of the world.

A bird’s eye view of Beijing Daxing International Airport, on May 1, 2019. [Photo: VCG]

A bird’s eye view of Beijing Daxing International Airport, on May 1, 2019. [Photo: VCG]

Four years of construction work has resulted in an airport that boasts a state-of-the-art people-friendly design that incorporates ideas about innovative and green development. This helps to explain why The Guardian selected it to head its list of Seven Wonders of the New World, and why CNN named it one of the year's most exciting airport projects. It boasts over a hundred technological innovations and more than 40 international and domestic firsts. Over 98 percent of the airport's components were locally sourced. The airport is the world's first to have double-decker arrival and departure platforms. It's also the world's first to have high-speed trains running underneath the terminal building, a feature that posed an extraordinary engineering challenge.

The Daxing airport has been dubbed the New Green Gateway to China. The energy consumption of the terminal building is 20 percent less than that of other airports of a similar size. This is an annual saving of 22,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to burning around 8,850 tons of coal. As a result, Daxing airport shows that China has caught up to become a leader in environmentally friendly airport management.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the airport is its people-centered design that incorporates a range of cutting-edge technologies. The integration of the high-speed rail service, the paperless check-in system, and the combined security and customs checks get passengers through the airport faster and with greater comfort.

With Daxing airport open for business, Beijing now has two international transportation hubs, which are expected to handle more than 250 million passengers a year. The flow of people and cargo through the new airport will provide an additional driving force for China's economy thanks to its location at the heart of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which is within a one-hour commute. As a result, the region will be better-connected with the rest of the world. The airport is also expected to become an important hub for the air routes that link together the Belt and Road countries as well as other parts of Northeast and Central Asia, and Europe.

Transportation is the main driving force for urban development. The opening of the Beijing Daxing International Airport will unleash huge new energy into China's economy, and make a major contribution to the country’s economic development as well as global connectivity.

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LU Xiankun Professor LU Xiankun is Managing Director of LEDECO Geneva and Associate Partner of IDEAS Centre Geneva. He is Emeritus Professor of China Institute for WTO Studies of the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and Wuhan University (WHU) of China and visiting professor or senior research fellow of some other universities and think tanks in China and Europe. He also sits in management of some international business associations and companies, including as Senior Vice President of Shenzhen UEB Technology LTD., a leading e-commerce company of China. Previously, Mr. LU was senior official of Chinese Ministry of Commerce and senior diplomat posted in Europe, including in Geneva as Counsellor and Head of Division of the Permanent Mission of China to the WTO and in Brussels as Commercial Secretary of the Permanent Mission of China to the EU. Benjamin Cavender Benjamin Cavender is a Shanghai based consultant with more than 11 years of experience helping companies understand consumer behavior and develop go to market strategies for China. He is a frequent speaker on economic and consumer trends in China and is often featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Channel News Asia. Sara Hsu Sara Hsu is an associate professor from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She is a regular commentator on Chinese economy. Xu Qinduo Xu Qinduo is CRI's former chief correspondent to Washington DC, the United States. He works as the producer, host and commentator for TODAY, a flagship talk show on current affairs. Mr. Xu contributes regularly to English-language newspapers including Shenzhen Daily and Global Times as well as Chinese-language radio and TV services. Lin Shaowen A radio person, Mr. Lin Shaowen is strongly interested in international relations and Chinese politics. As China is quite often misunderstood in the rest of the world, he feels the need to better present the true picture of the country, the policies and meanings. So he talks a lot and is often seen debating. Then friends find a critical Lin Shaowen criticizing and criticized. George N. Tzogopoulos Dr George N. Tzogopoulos is an expert in media and politics/international relations as well as Chinese affairs. He is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre International de Européenne (CIFE) and Visiting Lecturer at the European Institute affiliated with it and is teaching international relations at the Department of Law of the Democritus University of Thrace. George is the author of two books: US Foreign Policy in the European Media: Framing the Rise and Fall of Neoconservatism (IB TAURIS) and The Greek Crisis in the Media: Stereotyping in the International Press (Ashgate) as well as the founder of, an institutional partner of CRI Greek. David Morris David Morris is the Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commissioner in China, a former Australian diplomat and senior political adviser. Harvey Dzodin After a distinguished career in the US government and American media Dr. Harvey Dzodin is now a Beijing-based freelance columnist for several media outlets. While living in Beijing, he has published over 200 columns with an emphasis on arts, culture and the Belt & Road initiative. He is also a sought-after speaker and advisor in China and abroad. He currently serves as Nonresident Research Fellow of the think tank Center for China and Globalization and Senior Advisor of Tsinghua University National Image Research Center specializing in city branding. Dr. Dzodin was a political appointee of President Jimmy Carter and served as lawyer to a presidential commission. Upon the nomination of the White House and the US State Department he served at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. He was Director and Vice President of the ABC Television in New York for more than two decades.