Hu Jintao

Hu protege takes over in Shenzhen

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 January, 2008, 12:00am


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The Communist Party yesterday named a protege of President Hu Jintao as party chief of Shenzhen.

Liu Yupu , 58, worked with Mr Hu at the Communist Youth League's Central Committee from 1982 to 1985.

The Shandong native was transferred to Guangdong in 2000 to head the party committee's organisation department after holding a similar post in Shaanxi and was elected deputy provincial party secretary in 2004.

At the Guangdong party congress in May, Mr Liu was elected to serve a second term as the deputy provincial party secretary and was also put in charge of the province's politics and law committee. He chaired a meeting in Shenzhen more than three weeks ago when it was announced that former Shenzhen party boss Li Hongzhong would be transferred to Hubei province as its deputy party chief.

Mr Liu told the city's senior officials that 'Shenzhen's reform and development should always remain at the forefront' on the mainland.

Shenzhen is one of the five special economic zones launched by late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in the early 1980s.

It has been the beneficiary of many tax breaks and other preferential policies over the past three decades but analysts and the public have voiced concerns about barriers it faces to further growth.

Analysts say Mr Liu will have to confront three major obstacles: upgrade its electronics industry, attract talent, and keep its industrial advantage despite rising costs.

Guo Wanda , vice-president of the China (Shenzhen) Development Institute, said that although people criticised the city's high operating and living costs, the core issue should still be improving its electronics manufacturing industry.

Professor Guo said the high costs would not be a big problem if output increased.

'Some cities, such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, and London, have high costs but are still competitive. The reason is the industries they have are highly productive,' he said.

But Professor Guo conceded that during the upgrade Shenzhen would suffer temporary pain.

Professor Guo said the transition would be tough because Shenzhen did not have enough land, transport infrastructure or social controls for the change. More important, 'officials here are accustomed to following the old rules but not thinking about the new solutions', he said.