Before the 2021 Beijing Hangzhou Dialogue kicked off, a group of reporters moved along the Grand Canal from Beijing to Hangzhou to attend the event.
It was the first media tour since the launch of the Beijing Hangzhou Dialogue.
The group, comprising reporters from more than 30 domestic and international media outlets, has visited Beijing and cities in Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces along the canal.
While they were on the way, the reporters started sharing what they saw through photos, news stories, livestreaming and short videos via multiple platforms and channels to help the world understand that the canal has been a vital artery for trade, transportation, social life and cultural exchanges across China.
The canal, a homegrown cultural brand, also plays a bigger role in boosting high-quality development and providing fresh impetus for regional integration.
During the 2021 dialogue event, the third one of its kind, Beijing and Hangzhou have explored an innovative model of involving culture in comprehensive regional cooperation to drive socioeconomic and cultural exchanges to a higher level.
The event also witnessed that Beijing's Tongzhou district and Hangzhou's Gongshu district, the northernmost and southernmost ends of the Grand Canal, established ties as sister districts.
In a similar vein, a consultation mechanism for protection and utilization of the canal has been put in place among Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province.
The Tongzhou and Langfang sections of the canal, which have opened to navigation separately, will be connected in the foreseeable future. The joint section will yield enough water to satisfy the need for transport.
More efforts will be invested to advance early navigation through the integrated Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which will facilitate the flow of capital, resources, technologies and talents.
Within Beijing, the Grand Canal has been incorporated in urban planning of seven districts, which seek to improve their urban culture and ecological quality.
The canal is deemed a bond of friendship among cities. Beijing stands ready for more exchanges and cooperation with other cities involved in the canal region to gain more vitality for coordinated development.