Press conference on 'From cradle of the Party to maker of new miracles: How Shanghai inherits Party traditions to promote high quality development'

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Gong Zheng, deputy secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and mayor of Shanghai

Chen Yin, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and executive vice mayor of Shanghai

Zhou Huilin, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee


Chen Wenjun, spokesperson of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC)


April 22, 2021

Chen Wenjun:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Welcome to this press conference held by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. The press conferences will provide a new window for Chinese and foreign media to understand China, and especially the CPC. We will invite officials from relevant departments of the CPC Central Committee and local Party committees to attend press conferences from time to time. Relevant departments and the local governments will be invited to introduce how they are implementing the major decisions and deployments made by General Secretary Xi Jinping and the CPC Central Committee, and the situations surrounding the implementation of the Party's basic theories, fundamental political guidelines and basic policies. We will also invite representatives of outstanding Party members on the frontlines from various social sectors to meet with you and introduce how they play an exemplary role, undertake their original mission, lead the people in starting businesses, and so on.

Shanghai is the birthplace of the CPC. On the occasion of celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Party, we invited Mr. Gong Zheng, deputy secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and mayor of Shanghai to brief you issues on inheriting red traditions to promote high quality development in the new era. We also have with us Mr. Chen Yin, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and executive vice mayor of Shanghai, and Mr. Zhou Huilin, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee.

Next, I will give the floor to Mr. Gong.

Gong Zheng:

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media: On the occasion of celebrating the CPC's centenary, I'm glad to have the opportunity to introduce the situation in Shanghai to you all. First of all, on behalf of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and the Shanghai municipal government, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you all for your long-term interest in and support for Shanghai.

Shanghai is the birthplace of the Party and where the dream began. The red traditions flow through the veins of the city. Shanghai has witnessed the glorious rise of the Party over the past century and vividly demonstrates its great spirit. The city was once divided among the occupying foreign powers, while the ordinary people's lives were filled with toil and struggle within the confinements of the foreign concessions. Now, under the Party's leadership, Shanghai has been completely transformed and taken on a thriving new look. The city has risen to become a socialist modern international metropolis, standing tall and firm in the East and striding forward into the future.  

The CPC Central Committee has always entrusted important tasks in and placed high expectations on Shanghai. Since the 19th CPC National Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping has personally visited the city every year and given important speeches, proclaiming the role, direction and priorities of Shanghai in the new era. Bearing in mind the instructions of General Secretary Xi, the citizens of Shanghai are dedicated to reform and opening up as well as innovation-driven development, and continue to break new ground in all undertakings. After years of hard work, Shanghai has already become an international economic, financial, trade and shipping center, and is set to become a center for innovation in science and technology with global influence. 

First, today's Shanghai has strong economic prowess. In 2020, Shanghai's GDP reached 3.87 trillion yuan, the sixth largest among all cities in the world. It ranked third on both the Global Financial Centers Index and the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Development Index in 2020. Total trade volume amounted to 8.75 trillion yuan, the highest of all cities worldwide. The container throughput of the Port of Shanghai reached 43.5 million TEUs, ranking first in the world for 11 consecutive years. A modern industrial system is gradually taking shape, in which the modern service sector is the mainstay, strategic emerging industries set the direction, and advanced manufacturing provides the strongest backing. The capabilities of various industries throughout the entire value chain have been continuously improved.

Second, today's Shanghai is filled with innovation and vitality. In 2020, total R&D expenditure exceeded 4% of the city's GDP, which is on par with developed countries. Shanghai is home to 785 regional headquarters of multinational companies, 486 foreign R&D centers, 85 national R&D institutions, and more than 500 makerspaces of various kinds. Shanghai also boasts a number of world-class big science facilities such as the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility (SSRF) and the National Center for Protein Science (Shanghai). In addition to a number of groundbreaking achievements accomplished in Shanghai such as the cloning of monkeys by somatic cell nuclear transfer, a new drug for treating Alzheimer's disease, and the 10 petawatt laser pulse delivered by the Shanghai Superintense Ultrafast Laser Facility, Shanghai's technological wisdom is also widely reflected in such major science and technology projects as the Jiaolong manned submersible, Tiangong space lab, Beidou navigation satellite system, Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), Mozi quantum satellite and large civil jet aircraft. 

Third, today's Shanghai is an attractive city for talent from near and far. Shanghai is blessed with the rich cultural heritage of China's southern regions and a unique local culture. More importantly, the CPC's century-long history has nurtured the rich red culture and refined the city's distinctive character. The spirit of "diversity, pursuit of excellence, open-mindedness and humbleness" and its character of "openness, innovation and inclusiveness" have made Shanghai an attractive place for talented professionals. There are 63 higher learning institutions in the city, with 760,000 enrolled students and 179 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Over 280,000 foreign nationals now work in the city. Shanghai has been named the "most attractive Chinese city in the eyes of foreign talent" for eight consecutive years. 

Fourth, people in Shanghai enjoy happy, well-off and harmonious lives. In 2020, the per capita disposable income of Shanghai residents increased to 72,000 yuan. The city has ensured equitable access to basic public services for urban and rural residents, and further improved public service systems covering employment, social security, housing, old-age care, childcare, education and health. The average life expectancy at birth has reached 83.67 years, which is among the highest in the world. Transportation has also been made more efficient. The total length of rail transit in operation amounts to 772 kilometers, ranking first among all cities in the world. Urban governance has been made more scientific, detail-oriented and intelligence-enabled. Shanghai is one of the safest cities in the world, and stability and order are hallmarks of the city.

Fifth, today's Shanghai has an eco-friendly environment with blue sky and clean water. Its total spending on environmental protection has remained around 3% of the city's GDP for 18 years in a row. In 2020, the average PM2.5 concentration in Shanghai dropped to 32 micrograms per cubic meter, and water bodies with a national quality rating of Grade V were basically eliminated. Garbage sorting is leading a new trend in people's lifestyles. A system for the collection, transportation and disposal of sorted domestic waste has been basically established, and a zero-landfill policy for untreated domestic waste has largely been achieved. The green area per capita has increased to 8.5 square meters, growing from the size of "a pair of shoes" to that of "a room." People in Shanghai can now find more places to exercise, relax and enjoy nature.

As the old Chinese saying goes, "when drinking water, one should not forget its source." Shanghai owes its development and progress to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, to the leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping at the core of the CPC Central Committee, and at the core of the Party as a whole, as well as to the wise decisions of the CPC Central Committee. Shanghai's achievements are also attributable to the strong support of people across the country and the wisdom and hard work of the Shanghai people. As we review the past from this vantage point, the tremendous changes Shanghai has undergone over the past century fully testifies to the strength of the leadership of the Party and socialism with Chinese characteristics. All the people of Shanghai are now more confident and determined to follow the Party and forge ahead along the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Shanghai, the glorious birthplace of the Party, marks the beginning of our centennial journey. As we stride forward, we will pass on the traditions of revolution while staying true to our original aspiration and mission. Following the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee, we will carry out the campaign for learning Party history. The 100 years of Party history will reaffirm our beliefs and gather powerful strength. We will act as a trailblazer and shoulder our responsibilities as a pioneer on the new journey of building a modern socialist country in an all-around way. During the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), Shanghai needs to have a full understating of the new development stage, apply the new development philosophy, and help foster a new development paradigm to promote high-quality development, create high-quality life for the people, and achieve highly efficient governance. By 2025, Shanghai will achieve significant results in implementing major national strategies, make great headway in its digital transformation, and scale new heights in its core functions as an international economic, financial, trade, and shipping center as well as a hub of innovation in science and technology. It will also take new steps in building a people's city, and writing a new chapter revolving around a "better city, better life" in the new era. To that end, we aim to make breakthroughs in the following four aspects.  

First, we will make strides in deepening reform and opening up. We must deepen reform by freeing our minds, expand opening up by embracing the world, and strive for innovation by breaking away from conventions. We will be fully committed to high-level reform and opening up in the Pudong New Area, as well as in the three new major tasks, namely, the development of the Lin'gang Special Area; the pilot registration-based IPO system for the STAR market and the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region. We will strive to ensure the sustained success of the annual China International Import Expo (CIIE).

Second, we will make breakthroughs in strengthening the core functions of the city. We will advance the city's development as an international economic, financial, trade, shipping, and innovation center across the board; step up its "Four Functions" of global resource allocation, science and technology innovation, leadership in high-end industries, and a hub for opening up; and build an international digital capital with global influence in an attempt to better represent the country in international cooperation and competition with continuously upgraded urban capacity and core competitiveness. 

Third, we will make breakthroughs in serving the new development paradigm. We will accelerate the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region, and put in place a new paradigm for urban planning and zoning, that is, promote central districts' spillover effect; orient the Lin'gang Special Area, the demonstration zone for green and integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta, and Hongqiao Business District as hubs for opening up; develop five new towns; and transform Baoshan and Jinshan districts. We will put emphasis on the development of the innovation-driven economy, service economy, open economy, headquarters economy, and flux economy. We will also advance integrated urban-rural development and go all-out to become a central node for China's domestic circulation and a strategic link between domestic and international circulations. 

Fourth, we will make breakthroughs in building a people's city. Adhering to the key philosophy that "a people's city is built by the people and for the people," we will work to ensure that our people enjoy a better life with a stronger sense of happiness. Our vision is to build a people's city where each and every individual has the chance to rise and shine, is able to participate in governance in an orderly manner, enjoy a decent life, and feel warm and welcome with a sense of belonging. 

General Secretary Xi Jinping outlined that, "on the great journey of China's development in the new era, Shanghai will definitely create new world-dazzling miracles and demonstrate the new splendor of building a socialist modern country." It is an expectation as well as a command. We must be more united around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, bear in mind the goal of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in spite of the world's major changes unseen in a century, have a profound understanding of the national strategies and priorities, and pursue the city's development based on its strategic position amid the background of economic globalization while keeping in mind the development of the country as a whole and the overall plan for the development of the Yangtze River Delta region. We will forge ahead at a faster pace to create new miracles and demonstrate new splendor on the journey of building a socialist modern international metropolis with worldwide influence.

This is the end of my opening introduction. My colleagues Mr. Chen, Mr. Zhou, and I are ready to answer your questions.

Chen Wenjun:

Thank you, Mr. Gong. The floor is now open for questions. Please identify the news organization you represent before asking questions.

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