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February 3, 2013

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Mayor promises to be 'good listener'

SHANGHAI's new mayor has promised a city government that is good at listening to its people.

Mayor Yang Xiong made the pledge in his inaugural speech on the final day of the annual session of the Shanghai People's Congress (SPC) yesterday.

"We will try to collect people's voices through all kinds of platforms and sources to make policies scientific and democratic," said Yang.

"We want to be smart listeners, to keep a calm mind amid the difficulties and uncertainties."

Yang said the city's new leaders would welcome criticism and also hoped for encouragement and support from people.

He added that online comments from residents, along with the advice of deputies and media reports, will be rich sources of information to help ensure the city's new leaders fulfil their responsibilities.

Over the past week, members of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and deputies of the SPC made hundreds of suggestions for Shanghai's development over the next five years.

"From various sources of feedback, we know people are generally in agreement with the target set for Shanghai in the next five years ... There are a lot of valuable suggestions, as well as some sharp criticism," Yang said.

He said residents had expressed concerns about the environment. Other issues raised included employment pressure, the price of medicines, uneven location of educational resources, traffic congestion, food safety and security during working hours.

"We are responsible for properly addressing these issues to meet the expectations of the people. They care more about the realization of the target than the target itself," said Yang.

Yang made his speech at the Expo Center, which hosted millions of visitors during the Shanghai World Expo in 2010, which had as its slogan "Better City, Better Life."

The center became a symbol of this successful and memorable event for the city.

"The success of the World Expo was achieved through the great efforts of Shanghai people, who are always a source of positive energy," Yang said.

"Today, we still long for a better city and a better life, and we will achieve this target, as we did with Expo," pledged the mayor.

He announced the division of work between eight newly elected vice mayors, introducing them.

Tu Guangshao, new executive vice mayor and an expert in the financial sector, takes charge of finance and taxes.

Ai Baojun will oversee the development and reform, energy and port-related work. He was in charge of the industrial economy in the last session, also as a vice mayor.

Shen Xiaoming, an expert on pediatrics, is in charge of sanitation, science and food safety.

Re-elected vice mayor Zhao Wen, a university professor and deputy chairman of a local political advisory party, will again cover sports, tourism and intellectual property rights.

Another re-elected vice mayor, Jiang Ping, is now responsible for urban construction and management.

Newly elected Zhou Bo was praised by Yang as having been one of the "most outstanding business managers" in Shanghai. He presides over industry, information and commerce.

Zhou was formerly deputy secretary general of the city government and director of the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission.

Educationalist Weng Tiehui, another new vice mayor and also a former deputy secretary general, will take charge of education and culture, Yang added.

He highlighted new vice mayor Shi Guanghui, the 43-year-old former Party chief of Fengxian District, because he is the youngest in the post.

Shi takes charge of civil administration, human resources and social security.

"I know the citizens not only want to see our appearances today, but are more eager to know whether we can make the city better in our session," Yang said.


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