Aerial photo taken on May 23, 2018 shows Zhuhai Hengqin International Financial Center under construction and Hengqin new area financial island in south China's Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Liang Xu)
The bay area consists of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR), as well as nine cities in Guangdong Province -- Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing.
Covering a total area of 56,000 square kilometers, the bay area had a combined population of about 70 million at the end of 2017 and its gross domestic product reached around 10 trillion yuan (1.48 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2017.
"As one of the most open and economically vibrant regions in China, the Greater Bay Area plays a significant strategic role in the overall development of the country," says the plan.
The development of the area is hailed not only as a new attempt to break new ground in pursuing opening up on all fronts in a new era, but also a further step in taking forward the practice of "one country, two systems."
The plan covers the period from now to 2022 in the immediate term and extends to 2035 in the long term.
The plan has 11 chapters: the background, the overall requirements, the spatial layout, developing an international innovation and technology hub, expediting infrastructural connectivity, building a globally competitive modern industrial system, taking forward ecological conservation, developing a quality living circle for living, working and traveling, strengthening cooperation and jointly participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, jointly developing Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao cooperation platforms, and the implementation of the plan.