Beijing has outlined an even brighter future and a leading role for Shenzhen, a booming mega city born from nowhere merely 30 years ago. It will act as the front-runner leading a cluster of southern cities to jostle for prosperity and prominence.
Chinese President Hu Jintao vowed at the city's 30th anniversary commemorating meeting Monday that the central government will, as always, support the brave exploration of the Shenzhen, and its role of testing and implementing reforms ahead of others in the country.
“The Shenzhen special economic zone has created a miracle in the world's history of industrialization, urbanization and modernization, and has contributed greatly to China's opening up and reform”, Hu said.
According to Xinhua, President Hu told a celebratory rally held in Shenzhen Beijing will always support the country's special economic zones embarking on "brave exploration" in their roles as "first movers."
The Chinese president urged China's SEZs should behave boldly in reform and innovation.The SEZs could experiment with reforms in economic, political, cultural and social systems, he said.
Hu called for "expanding socialist democracy" and speeding up the construction of "a socialist country under the rule of law."
He said efforts should be made to carry out democratic elections, decision-making, management and supervision in order to safeguard the people's right to know, to participate, to express and to supervise.
The city, bordering Hong Kong, is a noted laboratory for China's reform endeavor. In 1980, under the auspices of late leader Deng Xiaoping, it became the first area in the country designated as an SEZ that could accept foreign direct investment. It offered lower taxes and less cumbersome bureaucratic procedures to attract overseas investors.
Li Ka-shing, Chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited, said in a speech the Shenzhen SEZ was the "driving force" of China's reform and opening-up. "Overseas Chinese have been heartened and convinced by the achievements of the country's reform and opening-up," said Li, Hong Kong's richest man.
Wang Rong, secretary of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC said Shenzhen will continue to play the role of "first mover" and strive to be at the "vanguard of China's scientific development."
He said Shenzhen is endeavoring to build itself into a "modern and international" metropolis.
The State Council, China's Cabinet, late last month decreed the southern city "a national economic center" and "a city of global clout" in cultural, economic and technological exchange."
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