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Shanghai Mayor Leaves Post, Heads for Academia

Like two of the most famous mayors in the city's history, Xu Kuangdi has left his post to take up a new position in Beijing. But unlike President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji, Xu will not be taking a top job with the central government. Instead the 64-year-old has been named by the CPC Central Committee as Party secretary of the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE).

Xu was named mayor in 1995, the same year he became a member of the CAE. He also held several other positions, including vice Party secretary for Shanghai -- none of which he will retain, it was announced on Friday.

The Standing Committee of Shanghai People's Congress, the city's top legislative body, accepted Xu's resignation at a meeting on Friday and appointed Executive Vice Mayor Chen Liangyu as acting mayor.

Chen is expected to officially take over as mayor during a plenum session of the SPC early next year.

Like many of China's top leaders, Chen, 55, is an engineer. He studied in the Chinese People's Liberation Army's Logistic Engineering Institute in 1963-68. Since 1983 he has worked as a leader in a number of factories and government departments.

He studied in Britain from January to September of 1992.

"I feel extremely honored to win the trust of the people and Party at this critical moment in the city's development. I will bend myself to the task and exert myself to the utmost," Chen told SPC Standing Committee members.

"We aim to build our government into a clean and efficient administration which manages city affairs according to the law and works diligently, pragmatically and innovatively," Chen added.

Xu's six-year term saw the continued development of Pudong, especially the Lujiazui area, and the opening of Pudong International Airport, Shanghai's new stock market and the Jin Mao Tower. Also the city recently hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

(eastday.com December 10, 2001)

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