Xi Jin­ping in Shang­hai: Tar­get­ing Long-term De­vel­op­ment and Defin­ing Di­rec­tion

Tar­get­ing Long-term De­vel­op­ment and Defin­ing Di­rec­tion

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents -

In March 2007, Xi Jin­ping was as­signed to work in Shang­hai, and served as sec­re­tary of the CPC Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mit­tee and the first sec­re­tary of the Party Com­mit­tee of the Shang­hai Gar­ri­son Com­mand. Seven months later, he was trans­ferred to the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and em­barked on a new jour­ney. Although his ten­ure in Shang­hai was short, Xi com­pleted his mis­sion suc­cess­fully and kin­dled fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the me­trop­o­lis.

“The Re­form and Open­ing-up Pol­icy Is the Fun­da­men­tal Driv­ing Force for De­vel­op­ment”

Soon af­ter his ar­rival in Shang­hai, Xi pointed out that at that time, var­i­ous places in China had wit­nessed vig­or­ous de­vel­op­ment and were com­pet­ing with each other for fur­ther ad­vance­ment. He cited an an­cient Chi­nese say­ing: “Fail­ing to ad­vance means fall­ing back” to de­scribe Shang­hai’s de­vel­op­ment against this back­drop. He men­tioned feel­ing a “great re­spon­si­bil­ity” to­wards the city’s

de­vel­op­ment many times and pointed out that the “re­form and open­ing-up pol­icy is the fun­da­men­tal driv­ing force for de­vel­op­ment.” Xi in­deed shoul­dered a great re­spon­si­bil­ity. Shang­hai, as a key eco­nomic hub in China, has main­tained dou­ble-digit eco­nomic growth for more than a decade. In the new cen­tury, Shang­hai’s de­vel­op­men­tal tasks be­came even more press­ing. With the 2010 Shang­hai World Expo im­pend­ing, too many things had been added to the agenda. On May 24, 2007, while de­liv­er­ing a speech at the Ninth Congress of the CPC Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mit­tee, Xi pro­posed the aim and guid­ing prin­ci­ple for Shang­hai’s de­vel­op­ment over the next five years. He called for ac­cel­er­at­ing the process of build­ing Shang­hai into an in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic cen­ter, a fi­nan­cial cen­ter, a ship­ping cen­ter, and a trade cen­ter, as well as a mod­ern­ized, in­ter­na­tion­al­ized so­cial­ist me­trop­o­lis.

Xi sug­gested the theme for Shang­hai’s de­vel­op­ment and of­fered pro­pos­als for the city’s eco­nomic and so­cial con­struc­tion, which mapped out the di­rec­tion for Shang­hai’s fu­ture de­vel­op­ment. Xi opined that in the com­ing five years, the com­pre­hen­sive re­form of Shang­hai’s Pudong Dis­trict would need ma­jor break­throughs, the over­all re­form in Shang­hai would need to ad­vance in a co­or­di­nated man­ner, and the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment pat­terns pro­moted by joint ef­forts of state-owned en­ter­prises, for­eign cap­i­tal, and pri­vate cap­i­tal would need fur­ther im­prove­ment. He as­serted that Shang­hai’s fu­ture de­vel­op­ment should fo­cus on the city’s strate­gic po­si­tion as des­ig­nated by the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, and should be con­sid­ered and planned against the back­drop of eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion, China’s over­all de­vel­op­ment and China’s gen­eral plan to de­velop the Yangtze River Delta.

“The Fo­cus of Boost­ing Pub­lic Well-be­ing Is at the Grass­roots Level”

On April 2, 2007, less than ten days af­ter he as­sumed his new post in Shang­hai, Xi vis­ited the com­mu­nity health­care cen­ter of Yin­hang Sub-dis­trict in Yangpu Dis­trict. His ar­rival sur­prised pa­tients and doc­tors alike. “He has been in the city for barely a week,” gasped one res­i­dent at the scene. “I am quite moved that he is al­ready vis­it­ing lo­cals.” The same day, Xi joined other se­nior Shang­hai of­fi­cials in con­duct­ing re­search into pub­lic liveli­hood in Yangpu Dis­trict and vis­ited the “Sun­shine Home” for men­tally dis­abled peo­ple, a com­mu­nity nurs­ing home and lo­cal in­dus­trial and busi­ness parks.

Af­ter work­ing for many years in places such as Zhe­jiang and Fu­jian, Xi con­sid­ered field re­search a cru­cial tool and be­gan con­duct­ing it im­me­di­ately af­ter he ar­rived in Shang­hai. From late March to early Septem­ber 2007, he vis­ited ev­ery dis­trict and county in Shang­hai and was “al­ways kind and full of warmth,” said lo­cals.

Xi often said in speeches that of­fi­cials should keep the

peo­ple’s needs in mind at all times. He stressed that the fo­cus of boost­ing pub­lic well-be­ing is at the grass­roots level. More em­pha­sis should be placed on com­mu­nity work, and is­sues re­lated to the peo­ple’s liveli­hood should be solved at the grass­roots level. Com­mu­nity man­age­ment and ser­vice mech­a­nisms should be im­proved, and con­struc­tion of har­mo­nious com­mu­ni­ties should be pro­moted.

“Im­prov­ing Work from the Top Down to Ef­fec­tively Man­age the Team”

Xi pledged to strengthen the ef­forts to build a clean and hon­est Party and gov­ern­ment from the very be­gin­ning of his ten­ure in Shang­hai. “Fight­ing cor­rup­tion is a long-term task, and we must per­sis­tently en­sure it con­tin­ues,” Xi de­clared dur­ing a meet­ing with Shang­hai Party and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials on March 24, 2007.

Xi em­pha­sized that Party mem­bers and of­fi­cials should stand in firm in sup­port of the ideals and prin­ci­ples of the Party, and must em­body the Party’s fun­da­men­tal tenets. He called on Party mem­bers and of­fi­cials to ex­er­cise power fairly and rea­son­ably and abide by codes of hon­esty, show­cas­ing his de­ter­mi­na­tion to “ef­fec­tively man­age the team.” On May 24, 2007, at the Ninth Congress of the CPC Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mit­tee, he pointed out some weak links in Party build­ing in a re­port on be­half of Shang­hai’s Party com­mit­tee.

On June 14, 2007, dur­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Xi cau­tioned Party and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to im­prove work from the top down by start­ing with lead­ing bod­ies. He stressed op­po­si­tion to “money wor­ship, he­do­nism and ex­trav­a­gance.” Dur­ing meet­ings with lo­cal of­fi­cials, Xi placed as much im­por­tance on im­prov­ing Party con­duct and build­ing a con­tin­gent of hon­est of­fi­cials as eco­nomic con­struc­tion.

Although Xi only worked in Shang­hai for seven months, he po­si­tioned the city in an ideal de­vel­op­men­tal di­rec­tion and en­hanced its con­fi­dence. “Dur­ing my time in the city, Shang­hai peo­ple stood with me through thick and thin, and we ral­lied to­gether like pas­sen­gers on the same boat. I con­tinue to feel more and more con­nected to the city,” Xi said later. “I thank the Shang­hai peo­ple from the bot­tom of my heart for their trust, care, and sup­port.”

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