FROM FARM­LAND TO WON­DER­LAND

The rise of the Pudong New Area in Shang­hai

Newsweek - - Periscope - By Yuan Yuan

The Huangpu River, wind­ing through Shang­hai, sep­a­rates the city into an east and west sec­tion called Pudong and Puxi, re­spec­tively. Al­though both are part of the same city, they grew at to­tally dif­fer­ent speeds in the past. Look­ing across from the Bund in Puxi, Pudong was a vast land with low-rise houses and tracts of farm­land. The only trans­porta­tion link­ing the two sides was a ferry sys­tem.

This all be­gan to change on April 18, 1990, when, as part of the con­tin­ued re­form and open­ing-up process, China de­cided to de­velop the Pudong area and named it Pudong New Area. By then, China’s re­form and open­ing up had been car­ried out for more than 10 years. Pudong was some­what of a late pas­sen­ger board­ing the re­form and open­ing-up ex­press train. But its devel­op­ment has been ex­tra­or­di­nary.

Paving the way

Weng Zu­liang, Party Sec­re­tary of Pudong New Area, di­vides the devel­op­ment of Pudong into three phases. The first, be­tween 1990 and 2001, was the fast devel­op­ment phase, with a lot of in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion and a se­ries of pref­er­en­tial poli­cies from the Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced.

The sec­ond, be­tween 2001 to 2012, was the com­pre­hen­sive devel­op­ment phase, with pilot com­pre­hen­sive re­forms car­ried out and tak­ing the lead in es­tab­lish­ing and im­prov­ing a so­cial­ist mar­ket eco­nomic sys­tem in line with in­ter­na­tional prac­tices.

The third, which be­gan in 2012 and con­tin­ues to­day, is the in­no­va­tive and trans­for­ma­tive devel­op­ment phase with the set­ting up of China’s first pilot free trade zone (FTZ), en­hanc­ing hi-tech in­no­va­tion and steer­ing devel­op­ment in a more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly di­rec­tion.

Through­out the 1990s, Pudong was like a huge con­struc­tion site. The con­struc­tion of the Ori­en­tal Pearl Ra­dio and Tele­vi­sion Tower, now an iconic build­ing in Shang­hai, was fin­ished in 1995. The 468-me­ter build­ing was the tallest build­ing in China at that time and was the first sky­scraper in Shang­hai. Later, this record was bro­ken by the 492-me­ter Shang­hai World Fi­nan­cial Cen­ter and cur­rently, the 632-me­ter Shang­hai Tower, all lo­cated in Pudong.

In Septem­ber 1990, the Waigao­qiao Free Trade Zone Devel­op­ment Co., the Jin­qiao Ex­port Pro­cess­ing Zone Devel­op­ment Co. and the Lu­ji­azui Fi­nan­cial and Trade Zone Devel­op­ment Co. were si­mul­ta­ne­ously es­tab­lished, mark­ing a sub­stan­tive phase in Pudong’s devel­op­ment and open­ing up.

Trend­set­ter is born

On De­cem­ber 19, 1990, the Shang­hai Stock Ex­change went into op­er­a­tion, bring­ing a ODUJH QXPEHU RI ĶQDQFLDO LQVWLWXWLRQV UHODWHG to the se­cu­ri­ties in­dus­try to Pudong.

“Peo­ple waited in long lines for the open­ing of the stock ex­change,” said Xie Rongx­ing, a Shang­hai lo­cal who worked as a trader then and was deeply im­pressed by it.

At the same time, ma­jor Chi­nese and for­eign banks, in­clud­ing the Peo­ple’s Bank of China (Shang­hai Branch), the In­dus­trial and Com­mer­cial Bank of China, China Con­struc­tion Bank, Citibank and HSBC Bank, UXVKHG WR OD\ WKHLU URRWV LQ WKLV SURPLVLQJ Ķnan­cial cen­ter.

On Septem­ber 25, 1992, the in­surance com­pany Amer­i­can AIA Shang­hai Co. was UHJLVWHUHG DQG RSHQHG LQ 3XGRQJ DV WKH ĶUVW for­eign-in­vested in­surance com­pany in China, mark­ing a sharp ac­cel­er­a­tion in the pace of deep­en­ing re­form.

In De­cem­ber 1999, the Shang­hai Fu­tures ([FKDQJH RIĶFLDOO\ RSHQHG DQG JUDGXDOO\ EXLOW

up its core com­pet­i­tive­ness in the world’s non-fer­rous met­als and other mar­kets.

China’s first Sino-for­eign joint ven­ture com­mer­cial re­tail com­pany, No.1 Yao­han Co. Ltd., was opened in Pudong in De­cem­ber 1995. In Oc­to­ber 2000, the Shang­hai Di­a­mond Ex­change, the first such cen­ter in China, was es­tab­lished.

Trans­porta­tion, which was a bot­tle­neck in the devel­op­ment of Pudong, was also largely im­proved in this phase of growth. In 1993, the Yangpu Bridge link­ing Pudong and Puxi went into op­er­a­tion, re­liev­ing com­muters of con­gested fer­ries.

In 2001, Pudong’s devel­op­ment en­tered a new phase. After China joined the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion that year and won the bid for hold­ing the 2010 World Expo, more sub­way lines, tun­nels and bridges were con­structed along the two river­banks.

On Septem­ber 29, 2013, the Shang­hai Pilot FTZ was es­tab­lished, cov­er­ing 28.78 square km, which was fur­ther ex­panded to 120.72 square km in late 2014. In the fol­low­ing years, the zone, along with the Pudong model, has been pro­moted in other ar­eas. Now China has a to­tal of 13 FTZS.

Mean­while, Shang­hai is­sued some 20 laws and reg­u­la­tions to at­tract for­eign in­vest­ment. For lo­cal en­ter­prises, since De­cem­ber 2015, the State Coun­cil re­leased a se­ries of poli­cies largely stream­lin­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures.

“In the past 28 years, Pudong’s GDP has snow­balled from 6 bil­lion yuan ($874 mil­lion) in 1990 to 965.1 bil­lion yuan ($140.8 bil­lion) in 2017 and is ex­pected to sur­pass 1 tril­lion yuan ($146 bil­lion) in 2018. Its weight in Shang­hai’s GDP has in­creased from about one 12th to one third,” said Weng. “Pudong is now the growth en­gine of Shang­hai.”

Rich in ev­ery as­pect

Pudong is not sat­is­fied with its role as the ĶQDQFLDO FHQWHU RI 6KDQJKDL DQG LV QRZ SD\ ing spe­cial at­ten­tion to up­grad­ing its pub­lic ser­vices and cul­tural sta­tus.

In late 2017, the 22-km coast­line on the east bank of the Huangpu River was opened to the pub­lic. Along the green prom­e­nade, there are 22 sta­tions of­fer­ing read­ing ar­eas, WIFI ser­vice, san­i­ta­tion, stor­age and emer­gency ser­vices for the pub­lic.

The in­dus­trial her­itage along the coast has also been up­graded and ren­o­vated. For ex­am­ple, an orig­i­nal coal ware­house has been trans­formed into an art gallery, where there have al­ready been 13 ex­hi­bi­tions held free for the pub­lic.

“Shang­hai is rich in cul­ture and art, but all the cul­tural and art ac­tiv­i­ties were held in Puxi in the past. Pudong was re­garded as a cul­tural desert,” said Sun Yu, Deputy Di­rec­tor of the Pub­lic­ity Depart­ment of Pudong New Area. “We have changed this im­age in the past years.”

MIFA 1862 Art Cen­ter, con­verted from a 156-year-old ship­yard lo­cated on Bin­jiang Av­enue of Pudong, now is an avant-garde des­ti­na­tion for the­ater fans. The ship­yard was orig­i­nally built in 1862 and was once owned by Bri­tish in­ter­ests. In 1951, it was taken over by Shang­hai but sat un­used and ob­so­lete since 2005, that is, un­til MIFA gave it new life.

Its first pub­lic event was a mod­ern adap­tion of Chekhov’s The Seag­ull, per­formed by the Lithua­nia-based Oskaro Koršunovo Teatras. 7KH ĶYH VWRU\ WKHDWHU NHSW WKH RULJLQDO VKLS\DUG pil­lars and pipe­lines.

“Cur­rently, the­ater per­for­mances for the 2018 sea­son are sold out and al­most sold out for 2019,” said the the­ater’s gen­eral man­ager Li Yan.

“In 2017, there were a to­tal of 27 large open-air con­certs with over 10,000 au­di­ence mem­bers held in China, and nine of them were in Pudong,” Sun said. “The Shang­hai Opera House is sup­posed to be es­tab­lished in Pudong by 2020, which will be an­other iconic venue.”

Among the star­tups in­cu­bated in Zhangjiang Innopark, es­tab­lished in 1992 in Pudong New Area, there are some cul­tural and cre­ative com­pa­nies. The unique at­mos­phere in Pudong puts fewer re­stric­tions on them, re­sultLQJ LQ VRPH EHFRPLQJ JLDQWV LQ WKHLU ĶHOGV China Lit­er­a­ture Lim­ited is a pi­o­neer in the on­line lit­er­a­ture mar­ket and op­er­ates a lead­ing on­line lit­er­a­ture plat­form in the coun­try. Fig­ures from the com­pany show that as of June 30, it had 7.3 mil­lion writ­ers, with some 10.7 mil­lion on­line lit­er­ary works cov­er­ing over 200 gen­res. They have cre­ated quite a few works that have been adapted into TV se­ries, films and even com­puter games.

On Novem­ber 8, 2017, the com­pany was listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong 6WRFN ([FKDQJH 'XULQJ WKH ĶUVW KDOI RI LW had an av­er­age of 213.5 mil­lion monthly ac­tive users on its plat­form and self-op­er­ated chan­nels on part­ner distri­bu­tion plat­forms.

“Pudong is a par­adise for star­tups in cul­tural and cre­ative in­dus­tries,” Wu Wen­hui, CEO of China Lit­er­a­ture Lim­ited, said. “It has wit­nessed not only the grow­ing up of our com­pany, but the devel­op­ment of China’s on­line lit­er­a­ture and dig­i­tal pub­lish­ing in­dus­try. Now a good cul­tural ecosys­tem has been formed here.”

On Au­gust 10, a blue paper on cul­ture and art in the Shang­hai FTZ was re­leased, re­veal­ing that the to­tal vol­ume of cul­tural trade in 2017 sur­passed 35 bil­lion yuan ($5.14 bil­lion) and is ex­pected to ex­ceed 40 bil­lion yuan ($5.8 bil­lion) this year.

“Since the FTZ was es­tab­lished, the scale of the cul­tural in­dus­try has been con­tin­u­ously en­larged,” the blue paper stated. “By the end of 2017, the bonded area of the Shang­hai )7= KDG EHFRPH WKH PRVW HIĶFLHQW DQG FRQ ve­nient en­try and exit chan­nel for art­work in China and ac­cu­mu­lated top cul­tural and art re­sources.”

An art­work ex­change cen­ter was set up in the FTZ in 2013, where art­work from other coun­tries can be dis­played and sold be­fore any im­port tar­iffs are paid. “We will make full use of the ad­van­tages of the FTZ in Shang­hai to pro­mote cul­tural com­mu­ni­ca­tion and trade be­tween China and abroad,” said Hu Huanzhong, Pres­i­dent of Shang­hai FTZ In­ter­na­tional Cul­ture In­vest­ment Devel­op­ment Co. Ltd.

Zhang Yim­ing, a 22-year-old col­lege stu­dent at Shang­hai Polytech­nic Univer­sity and a Pudong lo­cal, is a fan of mu­sic and he is happy to see that the Straw­berry Mu­sic Fes­ti­val has been brought to Pudong. “It was hard to imag­ine that such a cool fes­ti­val could be held in Pudong 10 years ago,” Zhang said.

“Ev­ery gen­er­a­tion liv­ing in Shang­hai has their unique mem­o­ries of the city,” Zhang said. “For my grand­fa­ther, it may be the war. For my fa­ther, it may be the pi­o­neer­ing work. For youth like me, it’s the pros­per­ity.”

The Huangpu River di­vides Shang­hai into Pudong and Puxi

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.