Shenzhen will work out practical measures and action plans to carry out the Central Government’s guideline to support the city in building a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
An executive meeting of the Standing Committee of the CPC Shenzhen Municipal Committee chaired by the city’s Party chief Wang Weizhong on Monday said the guideline is a milestone in the course of Shenzhen’s reform and opening up, and that building a pilot demonstration zone is a lofty mission and a task commissioned by the Central Government for Shenzhen to fulfill.
The city is doubly encouraged by the guideline and confident that it will achieve the goal, the meeting was told.
The Central Government on Sunday unveiled a detailed plan for wide-ranging reforms to be implemented in Shenzhen, including in the legal, financial, medical and social sectors. Under the plan, Shenzhen will become a model of high-quality development, an example of rule of law, civilization, as well as of societal satisfaction and sustainability.
According to the guideline, by 2025, it will rank among the top cities in the world in economic strength and quality of development, with intensive research and development investment and world-class industrial innovation capacity. By 2035, Shenzhen will become a national model of high-quality development and a globally recognized center of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a press conference yesterday that Shenzhen’s development toward a pilot demonstration area will also be a boon to the complementary cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Of all cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the relationship between Hong Kong and Shenzhen is the closest, she said.
“The two are very good partners,” Lam said, adding that the two have built a high-level cooperation mechanism and are jointly developing a technology and innovation park.
Experts said the guideline came as a high-profile recognition of Shenzhen’s development model and will inject incentives into the regional integration between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.
Shenzhen is often referred to as the “window” of China’s reform and opening-up drive that began in the late 1970s. In 1980, it became one of the country’s first special economic zones with favorable policies to attract overseas investment.
Experts said China’s socialist development has been a course of persistent trials and explorations. New policies are often piloted in certain cities and regions, and if proved successful, will be introduced to more places.
Xia Cheng, deputy director with the Regional Development Strategy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, said in an interview with the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily that Shenzhen has become an internationalized, innovation-driven city that is full of vigor, vitality and innovation capability.
“The guideline requires Shenzhen not to be satisfied with being a champion in a single area, but to be a model in many areas, such as high-quality development, rule of law, livelihood and sustainable development,” said Xia.
“In the 4,000-character guideline, reform and innovation are mentioned dozens of times and Shenzhen should lead the pioneering spirit in these aspects,” said Xia.
The city maintains close ties with its neighbor Hong Kong, whose investment and management experience have contributed greatly to Shenzhen’s economic takeoff. The Shenzhen-Hong Kong cooperation, put in the context of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, is set to figure prominently in its pilot zone plan, analysts said.
Qu Jian, vice dean of China Development Institute (CDI), said Shenzhen has played a successful role as China’s reform and opening-up pioneer.
“Now its job is to come up with a replicable model for socialism with Chinese characteristics,” Qu said.
Wu Sikang, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the Shenzhen government, said apart from its economic prowess, Shenzhen’s leading positions in marketization, internationalization and the rule of law are reasons for the central government to make it a pilot zone.
Guo Wanda, executive vice dean of CDI, said Shenzhen has worked hard to improve its public services, legal and natural environment in recent years.
However, a long struggle still lies ahead for Shenzhen’s pursuit of cosmopolis status, which is characterized by a high significance to global politics and the world economy and the convergence of global talent, funds and information, said Guo.
“As a young city, Shenzhen is still weak in education, medical care and other livelihood undertakings. That is why it is now investing heavily in new hospitals and schools and soliciting global talent in these fields,” Guo said.
Song Ding, director of the Tourism and Real Estate Industry Research Center at CDI, said that to compete well globally, the country first needs to maintain its competitive edge in technological innovation. Shenzhen has obvious advantages in this regard.
“Apparently, the China-U.S. trade dispute is about trade. But behind the scenes, it is about technology. The U.S. launched three attacks on Chinese technology companies — the first on ZTE, the second on Huawei and the third on DJI, all of which are high-tech enterprises from Shenzhen. This shows Shenzhen’s technological strength,” Song said.