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New mayor says administration will strive for transparency
By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-02-23 09:11

Newly elected Beijing Mayor Wang Qishan said his government will step up efforts to make its affairs transparent to the public.

Wang, Beijing's former acting mayor, won 742 votes from among 752 local legislators and deputies at the second round of the 12th Beijing Municipal People's Congress on Saturday.

"I hope the media and residents will give us some leeway in communicating at the beginning of procedures to make government affairs transparent," he told a post-election press conference held during the weekend.

"This will help encourage our officials to speak more to the public and media," Wang explained.

The mayor revealed that white books on waste water treatment and traffic congestion will be released to the media in the near future.

"We will try our best to let residents know what we are doing for the city's development and what we will do in the future, through making governmental affairs more open," he said.

Wang, 55, was made acting mayor in April of last year, when Meng Xuenong was dismissed from the post during Beijing's fight against the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, in accordance with a decision made by the Standing Committee of the 12th Beijing Municipal People's Congress.

According to the Chinese law, the standing committee of the people's congress at the local level is authorized to appoint local officials. Only the annual plenary session of the people's congress is empowered to elect the head of the local government.

He has been praised by local residents as the "fire brigade head" as he faced multiple emergency situations during his tenure, from SARS to the accident in Miyun County that killed 37 citizens this month.

Before coming to Beijing, Wang was secretary of the CPC Hainan Provincial Committee from November 2002 to April 2003.

After he was appointed Hainan's CPC chief, Wang travelled throughout the island in South China for investigation into the economic conditions there without informing the media of his movements, unlike many fellow officials.

"We should do more for the residents, instead of merely boasting to others," he said at that time.

Apart from work in Hainan, Wang also enjoys a solid reputation for his work in South China's prosperous Guangdong Province as deputy governor in 1998.

He also has vast experience in financing, having served as director of the Economic Restructuring Office of the State Council and deputy governor of the central bank.

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