Pudong celebrates progress over past 30 years

By XU WEI in Shanghai CHINA DAILY Updated:2020-11-12


President Xi Jinping addresses a grand gathering on Thursday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the development and opening-up of Shanghai's Pudong New Area. [WANG ZHUANGFEI/CHINA DAILY]

Area's development provides 'most vivid example' of socialism's strength, Xi says

President Xi Jinping laid out a new vision for the development and opening-up of Pudong New Area in Shanghai on Thursday as he called for the area to become the pioneer of the nation's higher level opening-up and efforts to foster a new development paradigm.

In a speech delivered at a grand gathering in Shanghai to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the development and opening-up of Pudong, Xi urged the area to deepen high-level systemic opening-up and work toward gaining new strengths in international cooperation and competition.

The area must have the courage to shoulder the heaviest responsibilities and take on the most difficult challenges, strive to lead the nation's development in socialist modernization and better showcase to the world the Chinese concept, Chinese spirit and Chinese path, said Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

In the speech, Xi recounted the historic process in which the area was transformed over the past 30 years from a rural suburban area of Shanghai to the city's hub in finance, trade and innovation.

The area's GDP rose from about 6 billion yuan ($906.2 million) in 1990 to 1.27 trillion yuan in 2019, with the per capita disposable income of residents reaching 71,647 yuan last year and their average life expectancy reaching 85 years.

"The remarkable achievements attained by Pudong's development and opening-up over the past 30 years have provided the most vivid example of the systematic strength of socialism with Chinese characteristics," Xi said.

Reform and opening-up is the inevitable course to adhere to and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics and to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, he said.

He highlighted the need for the area to make all-out efforts to harness the growth engine of innovation and develop itself into a new front-runner in terms of independent innovation.

It is important to focus on the frontiers of science and technology, the main areas of competition in the economy, the major demands of the nation and the health of the people in bolstering fundamental research, including for application purposes, and strengthening the research and development of key technologies, he said.

The transformation of outcomes in science and technology into real productivity must be accelerated, and the level of supply chains must be upgraded in order to make new contributions to the stability of national industrial and supply chains, he added.

Xi encouraged Pudong to focus on key areas to develop innovative industries, saying that the region must step up the development of world-class industry hubs in areas such as integrated circuits, biological medicine and artificial intelligence.

The area should actively take part in and lead the organization of international science plans and projects and conduct coordinated scientific and technological innovation globally, he said.

He reiterated the importance of opening-up as China's basic national policy, saying that there should be no wavering from it at any time.

Any thought about seeking growth behind closed doors, any practice that shuns the outside world or any act of seeking hegemony and bullying will go against the trend of history, he said.

Xi said China welcomes all countries to share its development opportunities, adding that China is open to cooperation with any country, region and business.

It is important to promote systemic opening-up in rules, regulations, management and standards to offer a high-level of supply in systems, high-quality of supply in products and high-efficiency of supply in funds, he said, adding that the role of the Lingang Special Area, a new addition to the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, must be amplified.

"(The special area) must use the highest standards and levels as the benchmark and carry forward stress testing at a greater degree in order to usher in breakthroughs in several key areas," he said.

He urged the area to adopt a more open and enabling talent policy to actively bring in high-caliber and top-notch talents, especially from the younger generation.

He also underlined the significance of enhancing the region's capacity to enable the global allocation of resources, saying that Pudong must increase its global influence in the allocation of production elements and strive to become the hub for the domestic market and the strategic link between the domestic and international markets.

"I have said that the Chinese economy is a vast area of sea. I also want to say that the global economy is a vast area of sea. The oceans and seas of the world are interconnected, and any individual attempting to block the connection is simply making a delusional effort that punches above their weight," he said.

As part of efforts to improve the level of modernization for city governance, Pudong should explore a path of megacity development that features both the characteristics of China and the times and displays the systemic strength of socialism, Xi said.

After attending the gathering, Xi went to neighboring Jiangsu province on Thursday afternoon for an inspection tour.