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January 27, 2013

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Low-carbon, low-key CPPCC opening

WITHOUT reception flowers or red carpets, hundreds of local political advisors assembled for the opening of the annual session of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Expo Center yesterday.

An emphasis has been placed on simplicity and lowering carbon emissions for the six-day session to make proposals for city government.

Setting a green example, Shanghai Committee members took shuttle buses to the meeting, instead of driving.

The length of the opening ceremony was greatly decreased, with the standing committee's working paper only around 8,500 words, the shortest in recent years.

Advisors have been told to give more criticism rather than praise.

"Innovation and restructuring will be the key words to guide Shanghai's economic growth," said Feng Guoqing, chairman of the standing committee.

The next few years will be crucial for making progress to improve people's livelihoods, he added.

For the first time, an English version of the Work Report of the Standing Committee of the 11th CPPCC Shanghai Committee was provided for foreign consuls attending.

This is also the first time the session has included sign language in the television broadcast. Two sign language interpreters are attending.

Shanghai is the first area in the country to adopt sign language for its annual session.

Among the 838-strong CPPCC Shanghai Committee, 409 are new members.

By late afternoon, members had made more than 200 proposals, covering topics ranging from promoting public transport options to equipping old apartment buildings with elevators to help seniors.

Zhong Xiangcai, a local political advisor, advised the government to promote trams and other green transport to help reduce air pollution.


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