Shenzhen's newly appointed party secretary has called on the city's government to think outside the box and develop the special economic zone into a world-class city. '[We] should dare to take on world class standards, dare to compete with world-class cities and build Shenzhen into a cosmopolitan centre with Chinese characteristics,' Liu Yupu said. The remarks were made on Wednesday as Mr Liu, a protege of President Hu Jintao, was sworn into his new job. His promotion from deputy Guangdong party boss has been seen as an end to a seven-year reign by allies of former president Jiang Zemin in one of China's key economic hubs. In his speech, carried by the Southern Metropolis News yesterday, Mr Liu said Shenzhen should strive to become 'a pioneer of reforms' and continue to play a role as both a window and model for the country's development. '[We] should be open-minded and not be bound by convention,' he said. Since becoming one of China's five special economic zones in the early 1980s, Shenzhen has proudly boasted of being a role model for China's economic opening up. This year marks the 30th anniversary of China's policy of economic opening. Yet analysts and government officials have conceded that the city's pioneering position has been on a gradual decline in the past 10 years as the rest of China's economy has soared. Concerns have also been voiced over barriers to the city's further growth and especially how it should approach economic restructuring. Mr Liu also pledged to further advance co-operation with Hong Kong and Macau. In a separate report by Southern Metropolis News, Guangdong's new party secretary, Wang Yang , was quoted as saying that Shenzhen should be prepared for adversity. '[Shenzhen] should refrain from complacency, raise its guard against any potential risks and overcome narrow-mindedness,' he said. In his debut speech during his appointment last month, the former Chongqing party boss called on Guangdong officials to ensure the province's pioneer status in nationwide reform and develop an innovative spirit. Mr Liu also called on Shenzhen to ensure public safety in the city when it hosts meetings of its people's congress and political consultative conference this month.