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Xinhua: Life moves on in Chongqing [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-4-17 19:56:04 |Display all floors
CHONGQING - As dusk falls on Chongqing, the People's Square at the heart of this mega-city on the Yangtze springs to life.

People gather in crowds to dance, sing, drink tea, chat or sit idly under leafy banyan trees. Heavily-shaded, the square is more like the parks found in other Chinese cities, offering a haven for people to relax and socialize, even in the steamy summer months.

Wu Xiaoquan, a 62-year-old retiree, is a Chongqing native and a member of an elderly singing troupe that meets at the square four afternoons a week to sing old songs.

The lively scene exists just a stone's throw away from the imposing municipal government building.
"We were shocked to learn the recent big news, but it does not seem to have affected our gatherings. We still sing on," Wu said.
Singing on
Wu is referring to a flurry of events surrounding the city's former top official, **.

On March 15, the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee appointed Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang to replace Bo as secretary of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee.

On April 10, the CPC Central Committee said that considering Bo had allegedly committed serious discipline violations, it decided to suspend Bo from his posts at the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau and the CPC Central Committee.

Bo, who once served as the country's commerce minister, was appointed Chongqing's Party chief in December 2007. He is the latest high-ranking official to fall from the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, preceded by former Beijing Party chief Chen Xitong and former Shanghai Party chief Chen Liangyu over the past two decades.

The explosive news has been the talk of the People's Square.

"Whether it was Bo or his wife, whoever commits crimes should be dealt with in accordance with the law, without exception," said Wu, who, like many others his age, lived through the tumultuous decade of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), a time marked by rampant lawless purges and attacks.

"The rule of law should be upheld. No one is special and above the law. If the system was replaced by rule of man, the country would descend into turmoil again," he lamented.

Professor Xie Chuntao of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee said the cases of **, Neil Heywood and Wang Lijun received great attention at home and abroad. Because a high-ranking official was implicated and it happened at a sensitive time, the cases, if not handled properly, may lead the public to doubt the CPC's resolution to uphold the rule of law and could result in social disturbances.

Last week, protests and clashes with police broke out in the Wansheng Economic Development Zone located in the Qijiang district of suburban Chongqing. But the protests were not linked to Bo's investigation or Wang's case, a government spokesman told reporters on April 12, a day after senior Chongqing officials intervened to end the two-day disturbance.

Residents of Wansheng were protesting against their district being merged into Qijiang -- a move they feared could result in losses in hospitality business opportunities and a cut in health insurance benefits, among other concerns, the spokesman said.
Protesters eventually went home, content with the measures the government offered to ease their concerns.

Aside from that brief clash, Chongqing has largely been peaceful and orderly since last Tuesday. People sang and danced at the People's Square as usual, and life has gone on.

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Post time 2012-4-17 19:57:05 |Display all floors

Focus on growth

The people of Chongqing are also known for their passion for mah-jong, a game they play dayand night in a range of places, including homes, teahouses, community mah-jong houses and,for those yearning for fresh air during the hours-long mah-jong sessions, cruise ships.

At Chaotianmen, near the spot where the Jialing River flows into the main stream of theYangtze River, people sit four to a table and play mah-jong on a cruise ship docked at the port.The entire second-floor deck of the ship has been converted into an open-air mah-jong housewith scores of tables arranged in neat rows. The clash of mah-jong tilts is so loud that peopleon the shore can hear the clamor.

Locals said Chaotianmen is where an adolescent Deng Xiaoping bid farewell to his hometown inSichuan province and boarded a ferry to Shanghai before moving on to France to study. Deng,with a proud ambition to save the country from chaos, discovered Communism in France andcame back to join the Chinese revolution led by Mao Zedong that eventually overthrew theKuomintang government in 1949.

Deng was instrumental in unleashing market economy reforms in China more than threedecades ago.

Viewing from Chaotianmen, skyscrapers have emerged on the mountain slopes along thechannels of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers, and an arched bridge styled after, but built to belonger than, the Sydney Harbour Bridge spans the Yangtze, connecting Chongqing's upscalebusiness districts.

Chongqing, once a center of political, economic and cultural resources as the Kuomintang'swar-time capital during World War II, only made strides in development after it was designated amunicipality directly under the central government alongside Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin in1997 and the central government launched a major campaign -- "Develop the West" -- tosupport the development of the country's western regions in 2000.

Chongqing's economic output exceeded 1 trillion yuan ($160 billion) in 2011, becoming the firstinland city with such a massive economy. Another six Chinese cities with GDPs over 1 trillionyuan are all located on or near the coast, the area that has led the country's export-orientedeconomic boom over the past three decades.

Li Youcai, a government official of rural Zhongxian county, said right after he was summoned,like others, to a county-level Party committee meeting to be briefed on the decision toinvestigate cases surrounding Bo, he was asked to resume focusing on his priority work --attracting investors.

Li, 31, said the county government is in talks with a major Chinese solar panel maker to set upa plant in Zhongxian, which is estimated to involve an investment of 3 billion yuan.

"Bo's case did not affect our work, especially not the opening-up policies the countygovernment has adopted," Li said. "We are still primarily focused on seeking investment toboost the local economy."


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Post time 2012-4-17 19:58:12 |Display all floors
Investor confidence

"The development of Chongqing will continue. The 'Go West' policy is bigger than Bo. Foreignbusinesses that have invested in the mega-metropolis have no reason to fear for theircommitment," said Jonathan Fenby, managing director of Trusted Sources, said in an analyticalpiece posted on the UK-based research and consulting firm's website.


In April, Vice-Premier Zhang told visiting Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud, chairman of SaudiArabian Basic Industry Company, that Chongqing is in a critical phase of development, and themunicipal government will continue promoting its economic opening-up policies and improvingthe business environment to attract foreign investment.


Late last week, Chongqing held a high-level hi-tech fair with the participation of 2,100businesses, government agencies and research institutions from across China and more than30 foreign countries. Chongqing inked cooperation agreements with foreign partners on smartgrids, green materials, clean coal and industrial robots, among others, the organizers said.


Steffen Zietzschman, CEO of German electronics maker SAW Components, said he wasseeking customers for the company's advanced passive wireless sensors that are able to workin harsh environments.


He said he believes there are good opportunities in Chongqing as it has a high concentrationof hi-tech industries.

Asked whether the death of Neil Heywood would dampen investor confidence, Zietzschman saidhe is concerned about the case but considers it an isolated incident.


"It is very dramatic. I cannot understand how it happened. But I don't think the case will affectthe overall business environment. Let's see. Maybe after one year, no one would talk about itany more," he told Xinhua.


Professor Xie Chuntao said that people in and out of China are all so confident in the country'soverall stability and sound growth that no one would believe Bo's case could shake thisconfidence.

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Post time 2012-4-17 19:59:34 |Display all floors
Pretty interesting feature story from Xinhua.

No longer simple polemics from now on.

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Post time 2012-4-19 15:48:56 |Display all floors
Rumor has it that Bo is very very angry. He is shouting all over the place and accusing them of not giving him a due process.

He even demands he stand a fair trial.

Indeed, looks like he has already forgotton how he had thrown all those "gang members" into jail.

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Post time 2012-4-19 16:01:21 |Display all floors
life needs going on ....
Heavens bless you & me!

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Post time 2012-9-21 11:25:38 |Display all floors

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