Changsha City in Hunan Province on Sunday established central China's first "state-level new area" to try out economic and administrative reform measures.
Xiangjiang New Area, which was given the greenlight by the central government in April, sits on the west bank of the Xiangjiang River and covers 490 square kilometers across several districts in Changsha.
It will pilot ten major reform measures in areas including government administration, economics, environmental protection and rural-urban integration, according to the Changsha City government.
It will be China's 12th state-level new area since one in Pudong, Shanghai, was launched in 1992. That was followed by others in cities and provinces including Tianjin, Chongqing, Zhejiang, Gansu and Guangdong.
China uses these areas to test reforms, pilot opening-up policies and test other measures.
A statement by the central government said it wanted to build the Xiangjiang New Area into a high-tech manufacturing and innovation base to aid the development of central China and the Yangtze economic belt.