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China Daily

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Friday, December 08, 2023, 18:00
Xi underlines pivotal role of Shanghai
By Cao Desheng
Friday, December 08, 2023, 18:00 By Cao Desheng

President urges city to further boost key sectors to fulfill global ambitions

Chinese President Xi Jinping makes an inspection at a government-subsidized rental housing community in Shanghai on Nov 29, 2023. He made the trip to Shanghai from Nov 28 to Dec 2, during which he also inspected the Shanghai Futures Exchange and an exhibition of the city’s sci-tech innovations. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged Shanghai to focus on the construction of international centers of economy, finance, trade, shipping, and science and technological innovation, and to step up building itself into a modern socialist international metropolis.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during an inspection tour of Shanghai from Nov 28 to Dec 2.

The trip marked Xi’s sixth visit since 2012 to Shanghai, a vanguard of reform and opening-up and a pioneer of innovative development. During the tour, Xi visited the Shanghai Futures Exchange, an exhibition on Shanghai’s sci-tech innovations, and a government-subsidized rental housing community.

Observers said Xi’s inspection tour of Shanghai sent a clear message that China will continue to promote finance to better serve the real economy, strengthen scientific and technological innovation, and adhere to the people-centered approach in urban development.

When Xi visited the Shanghai Futures Exchange in Pudong New Area on Nov 28, he emphasized that the objective of building Shanghai into an international financial center is clear, steady progress has been made and the prospects are bright.

The president’s visit to the exchange came after the central financial work conference, held in October in Beijing, called for promoting the high-quality development of China’s financial industry and building up the country’s financial strength.

While visiting an exhibition in Zhangjiang Science City in Pudong New Area, Xi learned about the municipality’s sci-tech innovations and achievements in the past 10 years.

Xi said that to promote Chinese-style modernization, it is essential to have the strategic support of science and technology, education, and talent. Shanghai should take the lead in expediting its journey toward becoming a globally influential center for technological innovation, he said.

By 2025, Shanghai’s expenditure on research and development is expected to account for around 4.5 percent of the city’s gross domestic product, according to a city plan. It also aims to host more than 26,000 high-tech enterprises and about 560 foreign-funded research and development centers by 2025.

Another highlight of Xi’s inspection tour of Shanghai was his visit to a residential community in Minhang district that is dedicated to providing affordable rental housing for new urban residents and young people. He chatted with locals and learned about their living conditions.

Housing affordability is taken into full consideration in Shanghai’s affordable rental housing system, with a variety of rental types made available, and the residential estates ensured various service facilities such as shared kitchens, cafes, gyms and convenience stores.

Xi has more than once emphasized the need to prioritize livability in urban development and to leave the best resources to the people.

On Dec 1, Xi heard work reports by officials from the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and the municipal government.

Addressing the meeting, he underlined the need for Shanghai to improve the city’s core competitiveness and strengthen scientific and technological innovation to make breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields.

Xi urged Shanghai to enhance the construction of modern financial infrastructure and expand high-level opening-up in the financial sector to allow finance to better serve the real economy as well as technological innovation and the joint building of the Belt and Road.

He said efforts should be made to implement the strategy of upgrading the pilot free trade zone and to promote the high-quality development of the international trade center.

Xi also emphasized the importance of promoting pioneering and all-around reform, and comprehensively promoting high-level opening-up in cross-border trade in services and investment.

While making his way back to Beijing on Dec 3, Xi visited a revolutionary memorial hall in Yancheng, Jiangsu province. He stressed the need to rely closely on the people and continuously advance the great cause of building a strong country and realizing national rejuvenation.


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