The Shanghai Dream

By Chen Shasha Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/31 18:03:39

City moves forward with development under new leadership

Locals welcomed a new city leadership elected during the annual session of Shanghai's legislative body which concluded on Monday. Ying Yong was elected Shanghai's mayor and Yin Yicui was elected as director of the Standing Committee of the Shanghai People's Congress.

After the conclusion of the session, the mayor answered questions from domestic and foreign media concerning Shanghai people's livelihood, environmental protection, regulation of the city's property market, education, talent policy, Hong Kong-Shanghai cooperation and Shanghai-Taiwan relationship.

Following are excerpts translated based on a Q&A at the press conference.

Media: In 2017, Shanghai's GDP grew by 6.9 percent year-on-year. Are you satisfied with this number? What is the expectation on Shanghai's future economic development from you and the new city leadership?

Ying: In 2017, Shanghai's economy has capped steady growth and is better than expected. Our GDP grew by 6.9 percent year-on-year to over 3 trillion yuan ($474.47 billion) and has reached a new milestone. This is of course good news.

However, compared with GDP, what is more important is that we can have high-quality development. Our people's living standards will continue to be improved and our economy can have steady growth, optimal structure, better efficiency and performance as well as sustainability.

This year's government work report has specified the goals and policies for economic development in the next five years and we must properly implement all these policies. We must remain steadfast to new development approaches and ensure we can have high quality economic development in Shanghai. We are fully confident in Shanghai's economic development.

Media: In 2017, regulation of the real estate market in Shanghai was very effective. Do we have any new regulatory measures this year? How can Shanghai accelerate the development of the housing system that encourages both home ownership and rental?

Ying: The regulation of the real estate market is important for the long-term development of the city, for the youths' future as well as the improvement in people's living standards.

In 2017, Shanghai formulated and strictly implemented the "Measures" on the regulation of the property market and generated very good and effective outcomes. We must stick to the principle that housing is for people to live in, not for speculation. Our regulation of the property market will not be relaxed.

To speed up the development of a housing system and encourage both home ownership and rentals and to change the over-emphasis on home purchase is a top priority for the government this year.

Media: You have correctly pointed out that to develop Shanghai into the center for innovation and scientific technology with global influence is a national strategy. As we all know, Hong Kong is also focusing on the development of its science and technology sector. So, in what areas can Hong Kong and Shanghai carry out cooperation in the future?

Ying: The cooperation between Shanghai and Hong Kong is very extensive, close and in-depth. For example, the economic and trade cooperation conference between Shanghai and Hong Kong has a history of 15 years and provides a big boost to the shared development of the two cities.

Shanghai is more than willing to develop extensive and in-depth exchanges and cooperation with Hong Kong across all areas and share our development opportunities with compatriots from Hong Kong so that we together can make greater contribution to the realization of the Chinese Dream.

Media: At every year's two sessions, people's welfare has always been a topic that has attracted most extensive attention. In April 2017, the minimum monthly wage in Shanghai was increased to 2,300 yuan, which is the highest nationwide. This year, will Shanghai continue to increase its minimum wage as well as pensions?

Ying: The development that we pursue should be people-centered and should bring more benefits to our citizens.

We have emphasized on multiple occasions that economic development and improving our people's welfare should be mutually reinforcing. The newly added fiscal income of the government should be tilted toward guaranteeing and providing better welfare to our people.

This year in Shanghai, the minimum wage and pensions will both be increased.

Media: In recent years, more and more Taiwan people are willing to study, work or start their own businesses on the Chinese mainland. What will Shanghai do to help Taiwan compatriots in Shanghai?

Ying: We are keenly aware that people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one family. Throughout all these years, Shanghai and Taiwan have carried out in-depth cooperation in trade, commerce, education and culture, to name but a few. Shanghai welcomes Taiwan compatriots; in particular, we welcome young people from Taiwan.

We must firmly implement our local regulations on the protection of investment from Taiwan and we will also put in place policies to guarantee same treatment for Taiwan compatriots in Shanghai to make sure that they can enjoy same benefits as local citizens.

We are more than willing to share development opportunities with Taiwan compatriots so as to give them better and more welfare.

Media: Shanghai is now aiming to become a global city of excellence, and this requires talents from around the world. How will Shanghai attract and retain talent?

Ying: Human resource is a number one resource and a key to a city's creativity and competitiveness. Throughout all these years, we have gone to great lengths to attract talents of various types.

In the future, we will continue to hire and keep talent. We will continue to create an optimal and flexible environment so as to turn Shanghai into a stage where talents of different types can all proliferate and prosper and to make Shanghai a place where people with high talent can live, work and enjoy the very high standard.

Ying Yong Photo: Courtesy of the municipal government


Scenery of Lujiazui Photo: VCG



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