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Scholars and researchers advised in a symposium on Sunday that the city of Shenzhen, bordering Hong Kong in South China, should focus more on the needs of people to help it become a world-leading metropolis.
Wu Jianmin, vice-chairman of the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy, defined a cosmopolitan city as "a place where global residents are happy to go". The former ambassador added: "It must be a city that loves not only the country but all human beings, a civilian city and a law-abiding city."
It's important to keep open to the outside world and actively participate in the global community while developing its own city spirit and unique urban culture, Wu said.
He also reminded the city administration of the need to cherish a good city. Being cherished a quality needs long-term and great effort to build but can be easily destroyed by just a few toxic events.
Zheng Yongnian, director of the East Asian Institute of Singapore, suggested that city administrative reform is a gateway to China's urban upgrading, which aims to shift the urban development from bureaucratic and business interests to the basic interests of the people.
Given the importance of talent in the globalization of cities, Zheng said it's a prerequisite step to build institutions that facilitate the free flow of talent, especially globally mobile talent. However, according to his observation, Chinese cities today have been too bureaucratized for this task.
"Not only is there a huge, overarching administrative system, important public organizations such as hospitals, universities and research institutes also carry administrative ranks, which is an effective hurdle for global talent to enter China and excel in their specific fields," Zheng noted, adding that it also serves as a major barrier for returnee talent as they often need to enter the administrative system at a cost to their professional activities.
Hai Wen, vice-president of Peking University and chancellor of Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, said it's necessary to develop an index system for an advanced and global city such as Shenzhen.
According to the organizer, Shenzhen Foreign Affairs Office, a total of 26 speakers contributed their thoughts on how to build a global city at the one-day symposium, half of whom were from overseas.
Wang Rong, Party secretary of Shenzhen, told the attendants that the city is working hard to maintain a pioneering position in China's reform and opening-up, as it has done over the past three decades.
"We are working on solutions to refresh our minds and deepen the reform from a global view, to properly cope with the new problems and challenges arising from the moves of developing and investing abroad, and to develop a more powerful international influence," Wang said.
Shenzhen ranked as the fourth most powerful Chinese city in many global surveys, following Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
In the latest ranking in the Global City Competitiveness Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Shenzhen was positioned 52 while Hong Kong was at four, Beijing at 39 and Shanghai at 43.