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May 20, 2014

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Shanghai fully prepared with security measures in place

SHANGHAI will accelerate economic restructuring, deepen reforms and encourage innovation to sustain the city’s status as a leader in China’s growth and development, Shanghai Vice Mayor Tu Guangshao told a media briefing ahead of the Asian summit.

Tu took the opportunity to thank Shanghai citizens and volunteers who had contributed to preparations for the 4th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), which starts today.

“The city has been a pioneer in accelerating China’s economic reforms,” Tu told more than 100 reporters from both home and abroad. “With a stable economic conditions, Shanghai will continue to play a leading role in various policy innovations, and then help to expand them across the nation.”

Last September, the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone was established in the city, serving as a test ground for further deregulation of financial services.

“Shanghai is a leader in attracting foreign investment, in raising the proportion of services in the economic output, and in the reforms of state-owned enterprises to let the market play a bigger role,” Tu said.

“We will continue various attempts to obtain useful experience for others.”

In the first quarter of this year, Shanghai’s gross domestic product expanded 7 percent from a year earlier, within the range of stable growth.

During the three months, 178,000 jobs were created, fulfilling more than a third of the target for this year, while the number of newly established companies jumped 34 percent on an annual basis, he said.

The wealth of Shanghai families also grew more quickly. Disposable income of urban residents expanded 9.5 percent in the first quarter, 2.4 percentage points faster than a year earlier.

“Shanghai targets growth of both speed and quality,” the vice mayor said. “We will continue to bolster the service sector, strategic manufacturing and emerging business sectors to optimize the city’s economic structure.”

Tu said Shanghai was confident of achieving its aim of becoming a global financial and shipping center by 2020.

Security will be tight in the city today and Tu said Shanghai was fully prepared for the summit taking place today and tomorrow.

He said the summit had very high demands for security, especially “under current international and domestic circumstances.”

Shanghai public security authorities will fully cooperate with security forces in nearby regions to ensure safety during the summit, Tu said.

He said the security measures in place in the city had the support of the public.

Shanghai police have deployed SWAT and armed forces at key venues and motorcycle patrols and armed police have been stationed at major sight-seeing spots to ensure a swift response in an emergency.

Traffic police have strengthened security checks at major crossroads and 18 hospitals have been designated to provide around-the-clock medical services for summit attendees if required.

Five hundred marines from China’s coast guard have also joined the security forces.

Stretches of the Huangpu River will be restricted to maritime traffic from midnight tonight to 10am on Thursday.

Marine Police said they had increased their police force and inspectors on 13 ferry rides on the Huangpu River.

Some ferry services may be interrupted at specified times, and passengers’ luggage will be searched.

Documentation of ships plying the river will be checked, and captains were told to report any suspicious activities.

Police ships with armed officers are on standby, ready for any emergency.

In cooperation with the navy, Marine Police will also do underwater surveillance, looking for explosive devices.

Meanwhile, 300,000 volunteers have been recruited to act as guides at venues and elsewhere.

The presidents of Russia, Uzbekistan, Iran and Sri Lanka are due to arrive in Shanghai this morning.

A banquet will be hosted in the evening by President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan.


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