Technocrat Liu Qi was elected Mayor of Beijing at the annual session of the Municipal People's Congress yesterday. Mr Liu, formerly manager of the Wuhan Iron and Steel Company and metallurgical industry minister, took over from Jia Qinglin, who had served as both Beijing party secretary and mayor since August 1997. Mr Jia, a politburo member, would continue to serve as the capital's party boss, said Xinhua. Since moving to Beijing last April, Mr Liu has held posts in the Beijing Communist Party Standing Committee and was an executive vice-mayor. Mr Liu pledged to maintain a 'clean and honest government', practice 'scientific decision-making' and ensure the city's civil servants were qualified to do their jobs. The 56-year-old native of Jiangsu province has a busy agenda ahead of him. Authorities have embarked on a massive revamp of the capital, including the re-paving of Tiananmen Square. As well as fighting serious pollution, Mr Liu will also have to prepare the grand celebrations surrounding the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic in October. The municipal Government needs to solve the thorny problem of resettlement of families affected by the recent demolition of illegal housing. More high-profile work will come as Beijing puts together its bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games. Mr Liu was elected a Central Committee member at the 15th Communist Party Congress in 1997.