President Xi Jinping asked Shenzhen to take active moves to further promote the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), calling for efforts to synergise economic rules and mechanisms in the three regions and urging wider exchanges and deeper integration among young people in those regions to strengthen their sense of belonging to the motherland.
Speaking during a grand gathering to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (SEZ), in southern Guangdong province, Xi said the Shenzhen’s development over the past 40 years is “a miracle in the world development history”.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission also said that said the establishment of SEZs is “a great innovative move made by the CPC and the country in advancing reform and opening up as well as socialist modernization.”
On 26 August 1980, the Standing Committee of the fifth National People’s Congress, the top legislature, approved the establishment of SEZs of Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Shantou in Guangdong province and Xiamen in Fujian province.
Since then, Shenzhen has transformed from a small backward border town into an international metropolis with global influence and a permanent population of over 13 million.
After four decades of rapid growth, Shenzhen now ranks fifth among Asian cities in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), which expanded at an annual rate of 20.7 per cent to 2.7 trillion yuan (about US$400.1 billion) in 2019 from 270 million yuan in 1980.
Xi called on Shenzhen to build itself into a pilot zone for socialism with Chinese characteristics, set an example for cities of a modern socialist country, increase its capabilities to implement the new development philosophy, build a new pattern to deepen all-round reform and expand opening-up on all fronts and contribute to the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
He urged the city to unswervingly implement the new development philosophy, achieve higher-quality development that is more efficient, fairer, more sustainable and more secure, and build itself into a global leader in technological and industrial innovation.
Shenzhen should deepen reform on all fronts and implement pilot programs to deepen comprehensive reform.
He also encouraged Shenzhen to expand all-round opening up, calling for efforts to accelerate advancing opening up with institutional guarantees such as rules and norms, and explore a more flexible policy system and a more scientific management system in terms of domestic and foreign trade, investment and financing, finance and taxation, financial innovation, as well as personnel exit and entry.
He underlined the solid implementation of the people-centred philosophy of development in the reform and development of SEZs, with efforts to address issues in areas including employment, education, medical care, social security, housing, elderly care, food safety, ecology and environment, and public security.