Regional/ News

Living up to a reputation of tolerance

China Daily | Updated: 2020-08-28 15:01

Shenzhen, which was officially set up in 1979, has gained fame not only for its boldness in reform and opening-up but also for its great inclusiveness.

"The city culture is diversified and tolerant, where people can keep their personality while respecting, making compromises and learning from each other," said Xu Hao, a film director.

His documentary The City and People narrates the stories of 21 new migrants to Shenzhen and their lives.

"No matter how different their cultural backgrounds are, people can live in this city freely," he said.

In July, the doctors in the Third People's Hospital of Shenzhen conducted a complicated split-liver transplant to save the lives of two cancer patients — one was aged 7 while the other 69. A young man who was diagnosed as brain-dead was the donor of the liver and several other organs.

In 1999, a Shenzhen resident became the first organ donor in China by donating her corneas. Four years later, the city issued the country's first regulation on human organ donation.

Gao Min, a full-time coordinator for organ donation with the Shenzhen Red Cross, said the city has led the country in organ donation for years.

"Shenzhen is the front line of reform and opening-up and the local residents are very kind," she said.

Share the benefits

With an expanding population of more than 20 million, the local government has taken many measures to improve the well-being of its residents.

According to the official figures, the number of parks in Shenzhen increased to 1,090 in March. Of these, 83 percent were community gardens. Entry to almost all the gardens is free of charge.

Named by UNESCO as a global model for the promotion of reading, Shenzhen had 959 public libraries scattered throughout the city by the end of 2019. It introduced small-sized self-service libraries, which can be placed on streets or in residential areas to increase reading.

Starting from March 2017, the city hosts the annual Shenzhen Belt and Road International Music Festival, which lasts for three weeks at a time.

In 2019, the event received more than 800 musicians of 23 troupes from over 40 countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, including Russia, Poland, Turkey, Indonesia and Thailand.

It staged a total of 23 concerts in Shenzhen, of which The Cleveland Orchestra from the United States, Germany's Freiburger Baroque Orchestra and US jazz musician Wynton Marsalis gave performances.

With government subsidies, almost 30 percent of tickets were sold for less than 180 yuan ($26) each. The organizing committee also arranged tickets for students at a price of 80 yuan.

"We would like to attract more audiences to step into music halls and hope local residents can share the cultural benefits and grow with the city," said Zhang Heyun, director of the city's department for culture, broadcasting, sports and tourism.

In August 2019, the State Council issued a document to make Shenzhen a demonstrative pilot zone of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. One of its strategic positions is to lead other cities in urban civilization.

According to the city's guideline mapped out early this year, the city will build a high-quality and consistent public cultural services system to benefit residents ahead of other cities in China.

Wang Weili, vice-president of the Shenzhen Academy of Social Sciences, said the city will invest in top-notch cultural facilities, carry out international-level cultural activities, attract excellent talents and build a globalized image to boost its comprehensive strength in urban civilization.

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