Ningbo act­ing mayor is new Party chief

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By CHI­NADAILY

Af­ter six months of va­cancy, the post of sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China’s Ningbo Com­mit­tee has been filled.

Tang Yi­jun, who was the city’s act­ing mayor for four months, will take the man­tle as well as be­come a mem­ber of the Stand­ingCom­mit­tee of the CPC’s Zhe­jiang Pro­vin­cial Com­mit­tee.

Tang, who was born in 1961, joined the Party in 1985.

He grad­u­ated from the Cen­tral Party School of the Com­mu­nist Party of China.

In 2005, Tang be­came deputy sec­re­tary of the CPC’s Ningbo City Com­mit­tee and has been in charge of the city’s econ­omy and in­dus­try for the past 11 years.

Ningbo, one of the first coastal cities to open its econ­omy in 1984, is a sub­provin­cial city with in­de­pen­dent plan­ning sta­tus, mean­ing it has more eco­nomic au­thor­ity.

Ningbo’s lo­cal gross do­mes­tic prod­uct is ranked sec­ond in the province, reach­ing 800 bil­lion yuan ($120 bil­lion) last year. That is just be­low Hangzhou, the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal and the host city for the G20 Lead­ers Sum­mit in Septem­ber.

In ad­di­tion, Ningbo’s Zhoushan port has the world’s largest cargo han­dling ca­pac­ity, at 900 mil­lion met­ric tons. It han­dled about 21 mil­lion con­tain­ers last year, rank­ing fourth in the world.

Tang wants Ningbo to be­come one of China’s first­tier cities in the near fu­ture.

Ningbo aims to be­come a world-class ship­ping and man­u­fac­tur­ing pow­er­house by 2020.

“Ningbo is at a crit­i­cal junc­ture,” he said at a mu­nic­i­pal Party com­mit­tee meet­ing in July.

“We have hun­dreds of items on the agenda, and deep­en­ing re­form is the top pri­or­ity,” he added.

The city will fo­cus on smart man­u­fac­tur­ing, hard­ware, au­to­ma­tion and ser­vices in or­der to trans­form Ningbo into a “model of smart econ­omy,” the new Party chief said.

With strength in au­to­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ing, petro­chem­i­cals, home ap­pli­ances and other in­dus­tries, Ningbo be­came the first pilot city in China to im­ple­ment the Made in China 2025 pro­gram, the high-end man­u­fac­tur­ing re­form drive, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy.

Bei­jing and Tokyo agreed dur­ing a for­eign min­is­ters’ meet­ing on Wed­nes­day to con­sider ini­ti­at­ing a mar­itime and airspace li­ai­son pro­ce­dure at an early date.

The­bi­lat­eral li­aison­mech­a­nism — un­der which the two coun­tries would brief each other about naval or flight plans or com­mu­ni­cate dur­ing po­ten­tial mil­i­tary en­coun­ters — was de­signed to ad­dress con­cerns about pos­si­ble con­flicts or in­ci­dents re­lated to ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes in the East China Sea.

The mech­a­nism has been en­dorsed by lead­ers from both sides. How­ever, its ini­ti­a­tion has been stalled partly be­cause of the two coun­tries’ strained ties, and the Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense has called on Tokyo to “re­move bar­ri­ers that hin­der ne­go­ti­a­tions on the mech­a­nism”.

On the side­lines of the an­nual China-Ja­pan-Repub­lic of Korea For­eign Min­is­ters’ meet­ing in Tokyo, For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi and Japanese coun­ter­part Fu­mio Kishida also agreed to en­hance di­a­logue and con­sider anewround of high-level, bi­lat­eral con­sul­ta­tion on mar­itime af­fairs, the For­eign Min­istry said in a re­lease.

Se­nior of­fi­cials from both coun­tries have held four rounds of mar­itime af­fairs con­sul­ta­tions, and the sec­ond con­sul­ta­tion, in Septem­ber 2014, saw the re­sump­tion of two-way talks on the li­ai­son mech­a­nism.

Liu Jun­hong, a re­searcher on Ja­pan stud­ies at the China In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, said Tokyo has been ner­vous about the pres­ence of China Coast Guard ships around the Diaoyu Is­lands. Ja­pan was ea­ger to talk about the li­ai­son mech­a­nism with China, Liu said.

Zhou Yong­sheng, a pro­fes­sor of Ja­pan stud­ies at China For­eign Af­fairs Univer­sity, said one of the chal­leng­ing tasks for both par­ties is to en­sure that their mil­i­tary en­coun­ters in the East China Sea can be kept safe through brief­ing each other.

“The mech­a­nism will not only help main­tain tran­quil­ity in the wa­ters of the Diaoyu Is­lands, but will also ben­e­fit the long-term de­vel­op­ment of bi­lat­eral ties,” Zhou added.

Dur­ing the talks on Wed­nes­day, Wang said the China-Ja­pan re­la­tion­ship still faces dif­fi­cul­ties and is at “a cru­cial junc­ture” with “op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges.”

Wang saidChina is ready to man­age and con­trol dif­fer­ences, con­duct ex­changes in var­i­ous fields and ex­pand com­mon­in­ter­ests.

Kishida said Tokyo is will­ing to man­age and con­trol con­flicts and dif­fer­ences, ex­pand pos­i­tive as­pects of the two-way re­la­tion­ship and bring ties back on track.

Wang also met with his ROK coun­ter­part Yun Byungse and said Seoul should “weighthe prosand­cons with a cool mind” over its plan to de­ploy theUS-madeTer­mi­nal High Al­ti­tude Area De­fense mis­sile-de­fense sys­tem.

Con­tact the writ­ers at cai­hong@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Tang Yi­jun

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