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Xi stresses Shanghai's key intl role

By CAO DESHENG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-04 06:38
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President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, waves to people on Wednesday during an inspection tour of Shanghai, which started on Tuesday and ended on Saturday. WANG YE/XINHUA

President urges city to focus on building financial, innovation center

President Xi Jinping has urged Shanghai to focus on 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 Tuesday to Saturday.

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 inspection 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 recent 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 Tuesday, 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 less than a month after the central financial work conference held in October in Beijing. The conference 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 local residents 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 available, ranging from a bed in a dorm room to a private room or an apartment. To create a more livable environment for tenants, the residential communities are also outfitted with 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 Friday morning, 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, in order to allow finance to better serve the real economy as well as technological innovation and the joint building of the Belt and Road.

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, he said.

Xi also emphasized the importance of promoting pioneering and all-around reform and opening-up in Shanghai. He called for steadily expanding institutional opening-up in terms of rules, systems, standards and management, and comprehensively promoting high-level opening-up in cross-border trade in services and investment.

While returning to Beijing on Sunday, 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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