Asian Urban Information Center of Kobe
| HOME | ABOUT US | PROGRAMS | PUBLICATIONS | DATABASE | WHAT'S NEW | ACCESS | LINKS |

The 2004 Baseline Survey on Millennium Development Goals in AACs
Chapter 2  Weihai, China

CONTENTS

1. BACKGROUND

The city of Weihai is located at the eastern tip of Shandong Peninsula, opposite Liaodong Peninsula to the north, flanked by the Yellow Sea on the north, the east and the south, facing the Korean Peninsula and Japanese Islands over the sea to the east and the southeast and bordering the city of Yantai on the west.

Weihai, bearing a long history, was inhabited as early as the middle of the New Stone Age. The Ming government, in the year of 1398, established Weihai Station to prevent invaders, after which Weihai was named. By the year of 2002, the city of Weihai, as a middle-sized city in China, has occupied an area of 731 square kilometers with a population of 551,500. Its developed area reached 44 square kilometers.

Weihai is famous for its highly q-qualityfied environment. With the continuous development and growth in economy and population, the environment quality in Weihai has been kept one of the best in China. The city has successively  received the titles of the National Sanitary City of China, the Model City for Environment Protection, the Wonderful Tourist City, and it was granted twice the title of the Best Example For Improving Living Environment in the World by the United Nations. In the year of 2003, Weihai was again awarded by the UN the Prize of Living and is regarded  at home and abroad as the best city for human beings to live and work.


2. CITY GOVERNMENT

In China, there are five levels of government, including central government, province government, city government, country government and town government. Lower governments are authorized by higher government. The highest authority is the National People's Congress, and each government belongs to the same grade local people's congress. but only the National People's Congress and the province people's congress have powers of legislation jurisdiction. The local people's congress has an authority to decide its principles on social welfare. public health, and urban planning. The government is the executive institution of the people's congress

The Weihai Municipal Government  is set up according to the pertinent national regulations and all of its leaders must be elected by the Municipal People’s Congress. The mayoralty is a five years term. The current mayor is Dr. Song Yuanfang. The mayer is responsible for overall local authority's services, and is authorized to represent the authority externally.  The mayor is also authorized to propose deputy-mayors. Currently eight deputy mayors are in place.

Under the mayor of Weihai there are 28 commissions and bureaus, which manage the affairs of every aspect in social and economic development of Weihai.

Weihai Municipal Government Organization


3. POPULATION SIZE AND COMPOSITION

According to the Census data[1] in 2000, total population in Weihai reached 609,219 with sex ratio of 102.16. Among the total population, 512,683 had local Hukou (Household Registration), and the portion of the minority was 1.21 percent, while the portion of non-agricultural population[2] made up 52.52 percent. In addition, in 2000, there were 190,579 households who live in the city, and among them 14 percent households had the elderly over 65 years old. The average household size was 2.72 persons, which indicates that the nuclear family dominated.

The current city administration was founded in 1987, since then the population continues its rapid growth, as Figure 2.1 shows. From 1989 to 2003, the total population had increased from 251,400 to 569,000 with annual growth rate of 2.27 percent. Meanwhile, non-agricultural population increased from 117,000 in 1989 to 419,300 by 2003 with annual growth rate of 2.16 percent.

Figure 2.1. Population growth from 19889 to 2003


The natural increase of local population does not account for rapid increase of population in Weihai. As Figure 2.2 shows, the natural increase rate of local people has been declining. In 1989, the rate of natural increase in Weihai reached 9.57 per thousand, and then reduced gradually to only 0.5 per thousand, dropping a full 9 points. The changes of the birth rate and mortality rate cause the decline for the rate of natural increase, and the birth rate continued to reduce significantly in this period. Thus the great decline in the natural rate was the result of the major decline in birth rate. According to the census data in 2000 the total fertility rate in Weihai was only 0.8, which was much less than the replacement level of 2.1.

Weihai appears to complete the phases of demographic transition, which has been transferred from the traditional pattern of high fertility, low mortality and high growth to the modern ones with low fertility, low mortality and low growth. We can conclude that the city expansion and the increases of migrants contributed to the rapid population growth in Weihai. Due to the absence of accurate migration data[3], however, the effects of migration on population growth are hard to estimate.

[1] NSB Conducts a census every ten years, and a percent mini-census every five years in China.
[2] The non-agricultural population is defined as a group of people who occupy the second and third industries.
[3] We can only find the migration data in 2000 census data. In 2000, there were 118,354 migrants from other towns or cities in Shandong Province and other provinces, which accounted for 20 percent of total population in Weihai.

Figure 2.2. Demographic transition in Weihai

According to the census data in 2000, we illustrate the population pyramid for Weihai in Figure 2.3. It can be seen from the Figure 2.3 that the aging problem in Weihai was not a serious problem in 2000. The proportion of the population over 65 years old made up 6.3 percent, which was below the standard of aging society-8 percent, while the proportion of the population over 60 years old was 9.6 percent, close to the aging standard of 10 percent in this case. It shows that Weihai had not yet entered into the aging society. Weihai is expected to begin experiencing the aging society in the near future.

The working age population in Weihai, from 16 to 64 years old, accounted for 78 percent of total population, and people over16 years old and under 60 years old was 74.4 percent. By gender, for the population as whole, the proportion of women 15-49 years old made up 32.75 percent. And the age group distribution for female is almost as same as male in 2000, expect that the proportion of the15-29 years old for female is slightly larger than male, and the proportion of males who are over 30 years old is larger than female. In sum, Weihai as a city that has grown especially from in-migration of young working-age people. It can also be seen that fertility has declined dramatically, leaving only a very small proportion of the population in the very young ages.

Figure 2.3. Age and sex structure 2000


4. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND EMPLOYMENT

4.1. Economic Growth

Weihai has made rapid economic progress since the policy of opening-up was implemented in China. In 1980, GDP of Weihai was merely CNY 175 million. But by the year of 2003, it has raised to CNY 22.5 billion, which, according to the comparable price, is 60 times the original within 24 years, or an increase of 19.5 percent annually (Figure 2.4). Weihai, with regard to the economic development, has become one of the most vigorous cities in China.

Figure 2.4. GDP and growth rates in Weihai from 1985 to 2003

With the rapid economic development, great changes have taken place in the industrial structure of Weihai. The proportion of GDP from primary industries fell quickly while the proportions from the secondary and the tertiary industries rose continuously and the course of industrialization speeds up incessantly (Figure 2.5). By the year of 2003, the proportion of the GDP from primary industry had decreased to 6.55 percent and that of secondary industry and the tertiary industry reached 54.5 percent and 38.95 percent respectively. Today the per capita GDP is USD 4,850, occupying the first place in Shandong Province.

Figure 2.5. GDP growth and the change of industrial structure in Weihai from 1980 to 2003

Weihai is an important coastal city in the east of China, which was ranked as one of the fourteen coastal open cities of China as early as the year of 1984 when it was still under the jurisdiction of Yantai City of Shandong Province. Thanks to a series of favorable terms provided for the coastal open cities in making use of foreign capital and developing foreign trade, the exported-oriented economy in Weihai thrives, stimulating Weihai’s economic development simultaneously. In 1987, the foreign direct investment utilized by Weihai was USD 1.28 million. By while in the middle of the 1990s, FDI annually used by Weihai went up to USD 1 billion or so. In the recent years, it has been developing rapidly, with the FDI contributed to the flourishing of Weihai’s economy reaching $396 million in 2003. Most of the foreign direct investment in Weihai comes from Japanese and South Korean enterprises that bring Weihai the methods of management, technology, market as well as funds by opening factories and give impetus to Weihai’s economy by setting good examples.

Figure 2.6. GDP per capita and local finance income in Weihai from 1985 to 2003


4.2. Employment

The 2000 census indicates that the total employment in Weihai reached 376,473 people and the number of the unemployed was 76.4. Its unemployment rate was 2.04 percent and the labor force participation rate was 79.5 percent. The high labor force participation rate and low unemployment rate reflect the good employment and economic situation in Weihai.

Figure 2.7 shows that the number of total employed workers fluctuated greatly from 1992 to 2002. The total number of the employed workers rose from just over 150 thousand persons in 1992 and 1993 to 410 thousand persons in 1994, then dropped to around 280 thousand persons in 1995. After that, the number of total labor climbed up to in 1999, and this situation remained till 2002. This change is quite similar to the overall employment situation in China, the sharp decline for the total labors probably caused by the economic shock in Southeast of Asis in 1998. 

Figure 2.7. Change in the number of total labor force

The industrial distribution of workforce has changed greatly with the economic development in Weihai. we can see from the following Figure 2.8, from 1992 to 2002, the employment share of primary industries decreased sharply  more than 20  percent to nearly 0 percent. And the employment share of the secondary industries was the became the greatest from 1994 to 1998, its share just around 50 percent, which indicates  a half of employment is located in the secondary industries, then it was followed by a rapid increase in 1999. The proportion of employment reached 66.94 percent in 2002. For the tertiary industries, 1992 to 1997 saw a steady rise in the proportion of employment, which increased from 19.4 percent to 37.5 percent, but followed by a steady decrease and the number dropped to 32.75 percent. In 2002, there were two thirds labor forces employed in the second industry, and nearly one third workforces employed in the third industry, with nearly no labor in the first industry.

Figure 2.8. Share of employment n different industries from 1992 to 2002



5. SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

5.1. Social Security System

The minimum Living Standard System

As the last guarantee for the poor, the minimum living standard system is the fundamental security that covers all the registered non-agricultural residents living in the urban areas. It is regarded as the most important component of the social security system. In Weihai, the minimum living standard system was originally implemented in 1996. Currently, all the poor families in Weihai, whose average income per capita falls below the local Minimum Living Standard Line, have been covered by the MLSS.

According to Table 2.1 (and Figure 2.9), from 1996 to 2004. the number of the poor people covered by the MLSS showed a consistent increase, from 60 in 1996 to 602 persons in 2004. There are 282 poor families and 602 persons who have attained the minimum living standard guarantee in 2004. most of the poor people covered by the MLSS are urban unemployed, totally 424 persons. Meanwhile, there are 71 "three-without" persons, 55 unemployed persons, and 25 retired persons. Thus, the loss of working ability and opportunities for some people has become the main cause of poverty in Weihai. Note that though the number is rising, they are still a very small population or household.

Table 2.1. The MLSS in Weihai from 1996 to 2004

Figure 2.9. The MLSS in Weihai from 1996 to 2004

When the urban poor are covered by the MLSS, they are entitiled to get some amount of the minimum living standard guarantees. The MLSS funds come from the city government (40 percent) and the Provincial government (60 percent). And the trend of total amount of the minimum living standard guarantees is towards an increase, which grew from CNY 30,000 to 60,000 in 2003; meanwhile, the minimum living standard guarantees per capita also increased from annual CNY 500 in 1996 to annual CNY 1,200 per capita in 2003.

The MLSS in Weihai improved greatly in the past few years. Beside the assignment of the minimum living standard guarantees, the government in Weihai actively motivated other social assistances for the difficult families; for instance, 158 assistance centers have been established and charity supermarkets to improve the living standard of the urban poor population. Additionally, Weihai government intends to establish some special items relating with the MLSS involving health care, education and housing into the MLSS. The MLSS in Weihai guarantees the basic lives of the city poor people and also improves the social development.

Retirement System

There were 308,140 employees covered by enterprise retirement insurance, but the actual contributing people were only 265,766 in 2003. The participation rate of enterprise retirement system reached 89 percent. From 1999 to 2003, there were totally CNY 1,769,880,000 basic pension contributions in the 5 years; while, there were 33,925 enterprise-retired people received social management, which accounted for 85 percent of all retired worked. Meanwhile, total any 1,382,140,000 pension guarantees had been assigned in the 5 years. The pension guarantee per capita rose from CNY 532 in 1998 to CNY 759 in 2003. For the government apparatus and government-sponsored institution, the coverage and assignment rate always remained at 100 percent, and the contribution rate stayed over 97 percent. From 1999 to 2003, there were CNY 1,190,520,000 insurance guarantee be contributed and CNY 1,225,880,000 pension guarantee be assigned; the monthly pension per capita climbed up to CNY 1,399 in 2003 from CNY 828 in 1999, and the assignment rate achieved 100 percent.

Weihai is one of the cities implementing the management socialization for retired people at an early time. By the end of 2003, there were 33,925 enterprise-retired workers who achieved management socialization, which accounted for 85 percent of all enterprise-retired workers. Among them, there were 26,863 people transferred into the communities, which accounted for 85 percent of all retired workers in enterprises; and there wee 7,062people still charge of by enterprises, which accounted for 21 percent.

5.2. Health

Overall, China's health system has grown steady over the past half century, providing good quality primary heath care throughout urban and rural areas. It began in the 1950s with the mow famous "barefoot doctors" program, which provided good basic health services throughout urban and rural areas. The result was a dramatic decline in mortality and a significant increase in the quality of for the whole population in China. Weihai participated fully in this progress, with the gradual improvement in health condition for Weihai population.

Table 2.2 shows the data available from the Weihai yearbooks. Data recording began in 1987 when the Weihai health program was officially established. It can be seen from the table that the infant mortality has the trend towards decline, which dropped from 0.43 percent in 1987 to 0.26 percent in 2003. Meanwhile, the neo-natal mortality also decreased from 0.38 percent in 1987 to 0.26 percent in 2003, and the under five-year-old child mortality fell from 0.69 percent in 1987 to 0.52 percent in 2003. The probability for congenital malformation, however, had a slight rise, which reached 0.13 percent in 2003. Furthermore, the life expectancy for the whole city in Weihai reached 75.4 years old in 2003.

Additionally, the condition of reproductive health has improved greatly for the women of childbearing age, who can get high quality health service for fertility. The rate of perinatal health care reached 98.63 percent for the women of childbearing age, and the rate of delivery in hospital reached 100 percent in 2003. The average age of first marriage was 25.61 year old in Weihai.

Table 2.2. Reduction of child mortality


Facilities and medical Practitioners

For the competition and consolidation, the number of hospitals had decreased greatly from 1987 to 2002 (see Table 2.3). In contrast, the number of beds didn't change greatly. There were 2,087 beds in hospital by 2002. But, considering the population increase, the beds in hospital per capita actually decreased. The number of doctors and paramedical staffs increased, but still decreased for doctor per capita. The data show that the facilities for health care haven't improved significantly.

Table 2.3. Health care facilities in Weihai

The new health insurance system has formally implemented since 1 May 1999. There were 330,600 workers covered by the health insurance system in Weihai by the end of 2003, including 230,200 workers in enterprises and 100,400 employee in the government apparatus and government-sponsored institution, which increased from 76,300 persons at the end of 1998. The coverage rate for the health service was 96 percent for all the employees in Weihai. which os 23 percent more than it in 1998.

5.3. Education

According the 2000 census data, the average years of schooling was 9.35. There was a slight gap between the males and females; the average years of schooling was 9.69 for man and 9.01 for woman. The number of illiterate people over 15 years old was 21,870, which included 5,243 males and 16,627 females. Meanwhile, the illiteracy rate was 4.26 percent: 2.02 percent for men and 6.53 percent for women. All told, the females have higher probability to be illiterate than male in Weihai. For the education level of the people over 6 years old, the illiterate (including never enrolled in school and  participation in the course for eliminating illiteracy) accounted for 4.3 percent of the total population over 6 years old. The largest school group in Weihai was in the education level of primary middle school, whose share made up 41.73 percent for the total population over 6 years old. This was followed by primary school (21.06 percent) and high school (15.33 percent). The share of accomplishing high education made up 17.6 percent for the total population over 6 years old.

Table 2.4 Education distribution over 6 year old by sex

By Gender, the illiteracy rate of women was clearly higher than that of men. But the number of people fr education levels in primary school and primary middle school were quite similar for boys and girls; in contrast, the number of boys was 5 percent higher than girls for the education level over high school. Overall, the education level of females in Weihai was slightly lower than that of males. Thus, we can say that the males attained more educational opportunities than female in 2000. At the same time, there has been dramatic change over the past few years, so that there is now near equality of boys and girls in primary school.

In 2002, there were 3 colleges, 20 ordinary middle schools and 38 primary schools in Weihai. the number of teachers in colleges increased from 334 in 1999 to 959 in 2002, thus expanding 3 times during this period. There was a light increase for the teachers in middle schools, which reached 1,789 in 2002. The number of teachers in primary schools showed decline from 1999 ti 2002. This indicates that Weihai emphasized education in college level greatly.

The number of students in colleges has dramatically risen since 1999 (see table 2.6 and Figure 2.10), increasing from 4,288 in 1999 to 12,856 in 2002.

Meanwhile, the number of students in ordinary middle schools consistently increased from 1989 to 2002, and climbed no more slowly than the number of students in colleges. In contrast, the number of students in primary school had dropped gradually since 1997.

Table 2.5. Number of schools and teachers

Furthermore, the number of college recruitment has increased gradually (see Table 2.7), which reached 4,746 in 2002. The colleges in Weihai recruit their students from the whole country, and some of them will stay in Weihai after graduation. Thus, it will change the structure of human capital in Weihai and add to the improvement of Weihai.

Table 2.6. Number of students

Figure 2.10. Number of students

Table 2.7. Number of recruited students 


6. URBAN CONSTRUCTION AND ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION

6.1. Environment Protection

Weihai greatly values the harmony between economic development and environment protection, asking efforts to develop the biologic economy, change the ways of economic development. adjunct and optimize the industrial structure, ensuring the simultaneous improvement of city construction, environmental protection and resources utilization.

First, based on the construction of the manufacturing industry, energetic support is given to the ecological industries. Reducing the industrial consumption of energy is an important means for reducing the environmental pressure during the course of industrialization. Therefore, Weihai launched the campaign of building Energy-Saving Weihai, pushing the traditional high-consuming industries to change into a circulating economy of low consumption by strengthening the technical reconstruction. By now, 70 percent of the enterprises have gone through the authentication undertaken  by the system of product quality or that of environment management. Thus, the output value of the high-tech industry has accounted for 21 percent in the total industrial output value. square kilometers in 

Second, based on the construction of exporting and processing agricultural products, energetic support is given to agriculture. With the advantage of being near coasts, taking sea food as the primary product, mainly adopting the mode of "enterprises and farmers", Weihai tries to give a full play to the agricultural products without environmental pollution, green food and organic food, and accelerate the adjustment of the agricultural stricture. Presently, there are 61 kinds of green food and non-environmentally-polluting foods industries authenticated by the state and 18 enterprises with the right to use the sign of Green Food.

Third, based on the building of the tourist resorts, energetic support is given to ecological tourism. Weihai, with its picturesque scenery and agreeable climate, is rich in tourist attractions. The 74 tourist attractions publicized by the state can be easily found in Weihai. In order to bring these advantages into play, Weihai makes an overall plant of "one line and six places". That is, along the coastline, priority is given to the city proper, seashore ecology, the folk customs of fishermen, the hot spring resorts, holiday-taking, and traditional culture. In this way, Weihai will be built uo into a vital tourist resort, attracting people not only from Shandong Province but also from all China and even from neighboring countries such as South Korea and Japan so that the service industry is stimulated to develop rapidly. In recent years, the added value of the tertiary industry in Weihai has been increasing by 14 percent annually. In the year of 2003, Weihai City received more than 6.782 million visitors from home and abroad.

6.2. Urban Construction

In the past years, great achievements have been made in the construction of Weihai. The area of Weihai rose from from 398 square kilometers in 1985 to 731 square kilometers in 2001, twice the original within 17 years. The developed area of Weihai rose from 12 square kilometers in 1985 to 44 square kilometers in 2001, three times the original. Simultaneously, the population in the city proper increased by 150 percent, that is, from 220,800 people in 1985 to 533,000 people in 2001 (Figure 2.11). With the area expansion and population increase, Weihai pays more attention to the environmental quality and emphasizes the building of an ecological city, trying to coordinate economic development with ecological planning and at the same time improving the life quality of the people and then crating convenient and comfortable for the city people.

Figure 2.11 Land square in Weihai from 1985 to 2001

The municipal infrastructure is an important sign of the modernization of a city. Weihai was weak at the building of the infrastructure. Therefore, in order to bring about a harmonious advance in the development of Weihai, the municipal government gave priority to infrastructure construction, investing heavily in the city building to construct and reconstruct the city roads, greenbelts, sewage treatment plants and underground pipeline networks so as to make great progress in city function and environmental quality. From 1985 to 2001, the quantity of the buses increased from 23 to 341, fourteen times the original, and that of the taxis from 18 to 1400, seventy times the original. Furthermore, the area of the parks and the greenbelt rose to 2,029 hectares from 332 hectares, five times the original. And some improvements have been made in per capita road area and per capita living area. The popularizing rate of gas and tap water almost reaches 100 percent (Table 2.8).

Table 2.8. Survey of Weihai's infrastructure

Brightness Project

In order to brighten the city at night, Weihai initiated it “Brightness Project” in April of 1997, which involved 25 roads of the city, 16 parks and squares and more than 1,000 units and enterprises along the roads. The street lamps in the 19 sections of the roads have been changed, 98 percent of which are shining now. There are 444 light advertisements, 71 of which are the middle-sized neon light advertisements. So far, CNY 76.68 million has been invested in this project. The governmental investment is CNY 10.87 million and the social investment is CNY 6,581 million. “Brightness Project” adds the air of modern civilization to Weihai and enriches the nightlife of the city people.

Green Project

Weihai has made an outstanding improvement in afforestation. In 1990, Weihai earned the title of the National Sanitary City. And in 1993, it was granted the title of the Advanced Afforestation City in China by the Ministry of Construction, the Afforestation City and One of the Ten Representative Afforestation Cities of China. Then, in1996, it was again named A Garden City by the Ministry of Construction. The green area of the city proper, the covering rate of afforestation and the per capita green area have been increasing. In 1997, the green area of the city proper reached 1,602 hectares, the covering rate of afforestation 34.09 percent and the per capita green area 16.8 square meters. Then, in 1999, the green area of the city proper reached 1,634 hectares, the covering rate of afforestation 37.52 percent and the per capita green area 16.46 square meters. In 2002, the green area of the city proper, the covering rate of afforestation, and the per capita green area reached 1,741 hectares, 39.82 percent and 16.85 square meters respectively.

6.3. Environment

Weihai is a city with beautiful landscape and comfortable climate. There are lots of favorable bays, islands, natural outdoor bathing places, underground hot springs, and historic sites in the city. It is a good place for touring, vacation spending and sunstroke preventing, and is one of the most optimum cities for inhabitation in the world. In 1990, the city got the honor of National Sanitary City of China. It is the first city to receive this honor in China. In 1997, the city was granted the honor of Environment Protection Model City by China National Environment Protection Bureau. In 1996 and 2000, Weihai twice received the award of The Best Example for Improving Living Environment in the World from UN Human Living Center. At present, the environment in the city has basically reached the goal of “purified air, clean water, green mountains and beautified environment”, it has realized the benign recycle of ecological environment and the effective use of resources, and thus is called “the coastal garden city” by the tourists all over the world.

Air quality

With the development of economy and the increase of urban population, Weihai faces heavy pressure from air pollution. But the government kept the atmosphere in good quality by taking effective measures. In the past 10 years, the SO2 in the atmosphere was kept basically under 0.02 milligram/m. Since the 1980s, the NOx in the atmosphere has been decreasing gradually. Although in recent years in rose, it was still kept at the level of 0.02 milligram/m3. The TSP (Total Suspended Particulate Mattered) rose in the early 1990s, then it went down, and now it is under 0.01 milligram/m3 (Figure 2.12). In 2002, the urban air quality was kept in good condition. The annual mean of the index of air pollution was 58, and there were 158 days when air quality was better than Level One, accounting for 43.3 percent of the year.

Figure 2.12. Air quality in Weihai from 1987 to 2001

Like other cities, cooking is one of the main urban air pollution sources. In order to keep the air in good quality, the government encouraged the residents to use clean fuel for cooking through final subsidy. In the 1980s, the government urged the residents to use liquefied petrol gas (LPG) for cooking. But the LPG was expensive. During that time, a bottle of LPG weighting 15kilograms cost CNY 25, equal to half-a-month salary for a worker. If there were no subsidy, the residents could not afford it. So, Weihai government decided to subsidize CNY 10 from the revenue to the users. Thus, the factories were asked to subsidize CNY 10 to their workers. Consequently, more and more residents began to use LPG for cooking. Because using LPG for cooking was not convenient and safe, in the 1990s the government began to encourage the residents to use coak gas for cooking. In 1990, Weihai government invested CNY 200 million to construct a 160,000 m3/d coal gas factory and a pipeline network, using coal to generate gas and then distributing the gas to the households. In 2001, because the price of coal grew higher, in order to keep the price of coal gas stable, the government subsidized more then CNY 10 million and the capacity was 154 million m3/d. The project came into operation in 2003. Through the efforts above, the rate of residents using natural gas for cooking increases gradually and now is at 100 percent. This paves the way for the air pollution control in the city.

Heating in households and factories is also one of the main air pollution sources in the urban area. In the early 1980s, most of the residents in Weihai used small coal stoves for heating. The efficiency of the stoves was very low, lees than 30 percent. Undoubtedly, the city pollution was very serious. In the late 1980s, some apartment buildings installed a small boiler together, providing heating for its adjacent area. The efficiency of the small boiler was about 40-50 percent, a bit better than the stoves. But the dust, the noise and SO2 were still a problem. So, in order to control the air pollution of heating devices, Weihai government developed a central heating system. In 1990, Weihai established the Heating & Power Company. At first, they set up the No.1 Heating & Power Plant, not only producing electricity, but also providing steam to the nearby factories and apartment buildings. In 1992 and 2001, the No.2 and No.3 Heating & Power Plants were constructed one after another. Now No.4 Heating & Power is under construction. The capacity of boilers in the Heating & Power Plants is large, with the efficiency of more then 85 percent. Modern equipment that can reduce flying ash is installed in the boilers, and some of them also have the function to reduce the emission of SO2. The Environment Protection Bureau of Weihai drove the plants to use the low-sulfur coal and high chimneys to disperse the pollutants. Both the measures they took above reduced the pollution in the urban aor effectively. At the beginning, it was not easy for the factories and residents to accept the centralized heating system. For the factories, they had to remove the small boilers, and pay money to the Heating & Power Plant, which was hard for them of they were not in good condition. Regarding the residents, they had to pay for the pipe connection and the facility reconstruction in the rooms, which was a large cost for most of them. In order to kept the factories use the centralized heating system, the government set a regulation. It would not approve the boiler installation in the urban area any more and started to reconstruct the extant small boilers into heating change stations, removed the outdated boilers, and urged the factories to use the centralized heating system. For the residents, the government issued a regulation, demanding the units which the residents worked for to pay the reconstruction cost, and subsidize a third of the heating fee. So far all the factories and residents have accepted the centralized heating system.

Vehicle emissions gradually became the major urban air pollution source in developed countries. Now Weihai is confronted with the same challenge. In 1987, Weihai only had 22,000 vehicles, but in 2002, the number of the vehicles has already reached 457,200, 20.8 times that of 1987. Thus, control of the vehicle emission was a major problem for the Weihai government. Learning from the successful practice in developed countries, Weihai put its main efforts to develop the a public transportation system. Though the public transportation company was an enterprise, the government paid for most of the new buses, allocated the land for bus stations, and subsidized more than CNY 1 million annually for its operation. Furthermore, the government gave some priorities to the public transportation company, allowing it to accept the private investment, to use the buses to advertise, and to remit some of its taxes. The public transportation company did its best to enhance its administration and improve the operation efficiency. It also paid much attention to the environmental protection. It only bought the buses which met the national emission standard and abided by the pertinent regulations to remove the outdated buses strictly. It refitted 40 buses and tried to use liquefied petrol gas to reduce the pollutant emission. Through the efforts above, the public transportation system developed very fast. In 2001, the public buses reached 354, 15.4 times that of 1987 and passengers reached 83.56 million, 33.3 times that of 1987.

Water quality

Weihai is in short of water. In order to protect the water resources and reduce the water pollution, the government brought the “Dark Blue Sea Plan” into effect, protecting the water environment synthetically. In order to control the waste water pollution, for the enterprises which can be brought into the centralized sewage disposal pipeline network, the government harnesses them according to the standards which sewage treatment plants can accept. For the other enterprises, the government harnesses them according to the sewage discharging standards, and installs automatic monitoring devices at their sewage discharging points to ensure their discharging reach the standards. In recent years, 245 industrial pollution factories have been punished and 16 factories or product lines which polluted environment seriously have been closed down. The government constructed the sewage treatment plants to improve the capacity of sewage disposing. At present, 6 sewage treatment plants have been built up, and the capacity of sewage disposing is above 180,000 tons/d. The centralized treatment rate of urban sewage has reached more than 60 percent. Through the measures above, the water quality of the ground, the underground and the coast in Weihai all reaches the national standards.

Table 2.9. Sea water quality along Weihai coastline

The water resources in Weihai are only 548 cubic meters per capita. Water comes to be the bottleneck of the city development. Increasing the water-reusing rate needs to not only save the water resources, but also reduce the water pollution. For households, the government encourages to use water-saving equipment and change the big-volume close-stools to the small-volume ones, etc. In 2001, using the water-saving equipment in households has become a law that must be followed in house designing. For factories, the government does not permit them to launch highly-water-consuming projects. The water in the factories must be recycled and reused as much as possible. For the municipal administration organs, the government urges them to use the treated waste water to irrigate the trees and meadows. Water pricing is an efficient method to solve the problems of water shortage and water pollution. In recent years, the water price in Weihai has been raised three times, rising from CNY 0.8 to 1.8  per ton. It not only drives the public to save water, but also collects money for water preservation and development projects. Through the efforts above, the environment keeps in high quality.

Table 2.10. Reuse of water in Weihaie

Control of noise and "white pollution"

Weihai launched “Quiet Project” to control the noise pollution. The government demanded the enterprises whose noise exceeded the national standard to take effective measures to make their noise accord with the standard. It forbad the construction enterprises to construct at nights; prohibited the vehicles from ringing sounding their horns in the urban area; forbad to use high-sound horns or other things that give off big noises in any business actions; forbad to launch any amusement services which may emit noises in the residential area. By those measures, the environmental noise level was controlled effectively; the noises in the urban area and along the main traffic lines were kept under 51.1 and 67.7 decibels.

Weihai also took "Green Action" to control the "white pollution". Since 1998, the government has been popularizing the use of the decomposable plastic bags or paper bags. At the same time, the city constructed the garbage treatment plants into improve the disposing capability. At present, 4 garbage treatment plants have been built, the domestic rubbish can be disposed of completely in the same day it is  produced, and the rate of the harmless disposing of garbage has reached 100 percent. Now 3 new garbage treatment plants are in programming in this city and the capability of the harmless disposing of the garbage will be improved greatly.

The challenges

With the rapid development of the economy and the population, though a lot of work has been done to control the urban environment pollution in Weihai, the city still faces some severe challenges.

One is the high coal consumption. In China, more than 70 percent of the energy comes from coal. The sulphur content of the most of the coal is high, so the SO2, dust and NOx become the main problems in air pollution control. These years, the government has been encouraging the people to use clean fuel, but the total coal consumption is still growing rapidly, rising from 0.69 million tons in 1987 to 3.27 million tons in 2001. The available technology to solve this problem has not been found yet in China. Consequently, the total SO2 emission slowly goes high. This situation is not easy to be changed in the near future.

Another problem is the vehicle emission. These years the quantity of the private cars has been growing. In Beijing, 12 percent of the families have cars. And in some cities in the southern part of China, 20-30 percent of the families have cars. In Weihai, from 1987 to 2001, the annual growth rate of the vehicle is 21 percent. In China, the main problem of the vehicle emission is not only the number of the vehicle, but also their quality. Though the emission standard is not as strict as that of western countries, most of the vehicle cannot meet it. Some of the outdated cars are still running in the roads, which causes more traffic accidents as well as air pollution. Therefore, for taking a new look, Weihai has a long way to go.


Appendix

Three Colleges in Weihai

Harbin Institute of Technology (Weihai)

This university has 18 majors with more than 7,000 students enrolled and 12000 expected in 2005. 70 percent of the teaching staff have a Doctor’s Degree or Master’s Degree.

It is a comprehensive university with automotive engineering, information engineering, marine & environmental engineering and economy management as its main majors, integrating teaching, R & D and technology transferring.

Shandong University (Weihai)

This university has 41 majors, teaching staff of more than 600 and a student population of more 10,000, which will amount to 15,000 in 2005. It will be built into a center for academic exchanges with an education center towards Northeast Asia.

Weihai Vocational College

There are 165 professional teachers and 57 of them, amounting to 34.5 percent, have the senior title. The college has 5 departments and 11 majors with a student population of more than 2,400.It will be built into a first class vocational college of on university, industry and research in Shandong province, and the combination of the center for vocational education, post-training, long-distance education, information of education field, reference materials.

Economic Zones in Weihai

Weihai torch Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone

Weihai torch Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone was approved by the State Council on March 6,1991 as a national-level high-new technical and industrial development zone. Being one of the three national torch hi-tech industrial and development zones, it was jointly set up by National Science & technology Development, Shandong Government and Weihai Government. The zone is located in the northwest part of Weihai with the controlling area of 39.2 square kilometers and the coastal line of 12.5 kilometers. 110,000 people live in the zone permanently. The zone is 3 kilometers away from downtown, 4 kilometers away from Weihai Harbor, 10 kilometers away from the railway station, 30 kilometers away from Weihai Airport and 80 kilometers away from Yantai Airport.

Three are complete basic facilities such as water, electricity, road, heating and telecommunication in the 7 square kilometer area. The zone has passed the ISO4001 standard appraised by the appraisal center of National Environmental Management System and Royal Appraisal Committee of UK.In December,2002, it passed the checking of ISO14000 national demonstration zone organized by National Environmental Protection Bureau and science and technology Department. The hi-tech zones in this area have been set up such as hed Electronic Industrial Zone, Top Software Zone, Weihai Overseas Students Pioneering Zone, Nongyou Software Zone. 17 scientific and technical research institutions and 9 higher educational institutions have set up the scientific and research institutions and enterprises.

364 foreign-invested projects have been approved involving with foreign-investment in use of 350 million US dollars. The imp. & exp. volume of the zone in 2002 reached 558 million US dollars. The zone was selected as one of the first 16 “export base of high-new technical products” by National Science and Technology Department and Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation. The Zone enjoys all the preferential policies endowed by the state to coastal open cities and hi-tech industrial development zones. For the productive enterprise, the administration committee will give them preferential policies and support in terms of land, infrastructure and development fund according to the project scale, technology content and market situation.

Weihai Economic & Technical Development Zone

Weihai Economic & Technical Development Zone was approved by the State Council on Oct.21,1992 as the national-level development zone. It is located in the southern suburb of Weihai with the total area of 72 square kilometers and total population of 60,000 plus.

Within the 20 square kilometers, 10 vertical and 12 horizontal roads leads the area to all directions. The “seven through and one even” in water, electricity, gas, heating and telecommunication has been realized. Weihai Railway Station, New Harbor, Huaneng Power Plant, Gas Plant, Sewage Treatment Plant are all in the area which is 20 kilometers away from Weihai Airport.

The foreign investment resources are from over 20 countries and regions such as Korea, Hongkong, the Unite State and Taiwan. 1533 projects have been approved in the area with the used capital reaching USD 440 million. With the operation of some foreign-invested enterprises such as Daewoo Automobile, Daewoo Electronics, Weidongri Foodstuff, Howden Hua Fan who are characterized by hi-tech, foreign-oriented and hi-value added, the area has formed eight main industries which are automobile, electronics, foodstuff, textile, pharmaceutical, chemistry, building material and machinery


Copyright © 2005 Asian Urban Information Center of Kobe. All rights reserved.