Shanghai's new party secretary pledged yesterday that the city would work closely with other regions such as Zhejiang , Jiangsu , Hong Kong and Macau despite it being too early to map out the specifics of the next steps.
Yu Zhengsheng , the former party secretary of Hubei province who was appointed Shanghai party boss a week ago, made the remark during his first meeting with overseas media since taking on his new post.
The meeting yesterday was Mr Yu's second public appearance since his promotion.
On Tuesday, he visited the sites of the Communist Party's first and second congresses.
Mr Yu was appointed to replace Xi Jinping , who spent only seven months as Shanghai's top leader before being promoted to the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee at the party's 17th National Congress last month.
Mr Xi had replaced Chen Liangyu , the corrupt party boss who was ousted last year over the city's pension fund scandal.
Johnny Lau Yui-siu, a Hong Kong-based China watcher and a member of the media delegation, said: 'The remark shows Mr Yu sees the relationship between Hong Kong, Macau and Shanghai, as well as Shanghai's relationship with its neighbours, as very important.'
The delegation was uncertain whether they would meet Mr Yu until the last minute because the original arrangement was for them to meet Mr Xi, who is now in Beijing.
'Mr Yu could have chosen not to meet us,' MrLau said.
'But he decided to see us even though he did not make the promise and he had to rush to another meeting immediately after this one.'