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August 13, 2012

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Election allows overseas Chinese 'observers'

A GROUP of overseas Chinese observed the neighborhood committee election in Xintiandi area in Huangpu District over the weekend.

It is the first time that overseas Chinese with foreign citizenship were allowed to observe local neighborhood committee elections, held every three years. Expats and Chinese with foreign citizenship can't cast ballots in Chinese neighborhood committee elections.

The five observers comprised two Chinese with US citizenship and three people from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. They briefed residents, assisted in voter registration and monitored the election process. They will continue their work with sub-committees in property management, environment, sports and culture and presenting suggestions to the committee.

"'Overseas Chinese observer' is a special status being piloted in areas densely populated with expats, while we are still holding back from spreading the practice as more research and analysis are needed," said Zhu Ya, an official with the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau. Dai Qiming, Party secretary of the Xintiandi communities, said the move helped facilitate understanding between residents and committee officials.


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