Top leaders in Hebei believe the province will benefit from economic coordination in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, while accommodating more people to ease pressure on infrastructure and services in the two municipalities.
"Coordination of the region is a national development strategy. Hebei will play whatever role is needed to increase that coordination," said Zhou Benshun, Party chief of Hebei province and a deputy to the National People's Congress.
Zhou said that instead of being selfish and only focusing on getting benefits, Hebei will be flexible, making and implementing plans that reflect the integration plan and increasing teamwork with the two cities.
Beijing and Tianjin municipalities are surrounded geographically by Hebei, which is less developed than those cities. But despite their different levels of development, being neighbors means they share longstanding links.
Zhou said Hebei is being called the biggest beneficiary of regional coordination.
"Beijing is overwhelmed and Hebei is preparing to take the overflow," Zhou said, adding that to ease Beijing's pressure, some industries and people are being moved out of the capital.
Hebei will be the first destination for these relocated people and businesses, which will bring more opportunities to the province.
"In the past, Beijing and Tianjin attracted resources and talent from Hebei. Now, that's reversing. Coordination will benefit residents of both Beijing and Hebei," Zhou said.
Zhang Qingwei, the governor of Hebei and an NPC deputy, said there are many ways to look at Tianjin-Hebei coordination.
"Tianjin was the capital of Hebei province for eight years and the two places have a lasting relationship," Zhang said. He lived in Tianjin for more than four years and considers himself a native of Tianjin.
"Tianjin and Hebei are both in the Bohai Bay Area. We're willing to cooperate with Tianjin, taking advantage of port facilities," Zhang said.