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Cablegate: 60th Anniversary Celebrations Balance Local Accomplishments

VZCZCXRO7618
RR RUEHCN RUEHGH
DE RUEHGH #0411/01 2730642
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 300642Z SEP 09
FM AMCONSUL SHANGHAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8312
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3098
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 2229
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0686
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 2393
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 2220
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 2024
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 8964

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 SHANGHAI 000411

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE ALSO FOR S/GPI/BALDERSTON, AMB BAGLEY
STATE ALSO FOR EAP/PD - STOLTZ, GALT
STATE ALSO FOR OES/STC
TREASURY FOR OASIA - DOHNER, WINSHIP
NSC FOR BUSBY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV ECON ETRD EINV EFIN KPAO SOCI TPHY CH
SUBJECT: 60TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS BALANCE LOCAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS
WITH NATIONAL UNITY

REF: A. (A) SHANGHAI 340
B. (B) SHANGHAI 267
C. (C) SHANGHAI 24 AND PREVIOUS
D. (D) SHANGHAI 275
E. (E) SHANGHAI 191
F. (F) SHANGHAI 380

(U) Sensitive but unclassified. Not for dissemination outside
USG channels; not for Internet distribution.

SUMMARY

-------

1. (SBU) As Shanghai prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary
of the establishment of the People's Republic of China on
October 1, municipal government officials and the state-run
media have attempted to balance local pride with national unity.
In public statements and newspaper articles, Shanghai officials
offer the city as modern and technologically advanced but also
nationalistic and firmly under the Communist Party's leadership.
Recent visits to other cities in the Consular District
demonstrate a similar effort by local government officials to
feature their local accomplishments while punching their
national credentials as October 1 approaches. End Summary.

SINGING SHANGHAI'S PRAISES ON THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY

--------------------------------------------- -----

2. (SBU) From the rising pavilions at the 2010 World Expo site
on both sides of the Huangpu River to gleaming skyscrapers in
Pudong's glitzy Lujiazui Financial District to refurbished
neighborhoods around Xintiandi to the high-end shops along
Nanjing Road to some of China's best universities, Shanghai
projects China as sleek, modern, and high-tech. As Shanghai
prepares to observe the 60th anniversary of the establishment of
the People's Republic of China, the municipal government has
done its part to demonstrate national unity, staging
opportunities for government officials to speak -- and sing --
with patriotic fervor. At Pudong Yuanshen Stadium on September
27, Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng, Mayor Han Zheng, Municipal
People's Congress Chairman Liu Yungeng, and Shanghai CPPCC
Chairman Feng Guoqin were among those raising their voices in
song in praise of the nation, the Party, and the need to "work
hard for the people."

EXPO 2010: SHANGHAI TAKES ITS PLACE ON THE WORLD STAGE

--------------------------------------------- ---------

3. (SBU) Shanghai has much to sing about. Despite initial
pessimism about the impact of the global economic downturn on
the city and concern about a low GDP growth rate during the
first quarter of the year at 3.1 percent, the city's economy
bounced back to grow by 7.9 percent in the second quarter, and
Shanghai now is looking forward to hosting the biggest World's
Fair ever in 2010 (Ref A). The Shanghai 2010 World Expo, due to
open on May 1 with 192 countries participating, is expecting 70
million visitors. Shanghai's municipal government has budgeted
$4.2 billion for the six-month event (nearly twice the $2.3
billion budget for the 2008 Beijing Olympics), including $2.6
billion for infrastructure and $1.6 billion for Expo operations.
Shanghai's 60th anniversary celebrations, therefore, will
highlight the upcoming Expo. Yet more "Haibao" (the 2010 World

SHANGHAI 00000411 002 OF 005


Expo's mascot) statues popped up around town in recent weeks --
just in time to celebrate the nation's 60th birthday.

INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS: CITY'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO SCIENCE

--------------------------------------------- --------

4. (SBU) In line with the 2010 World Expo's theme of "Better
City, Better Life," the local media's focus on the upcoming 60th
anniversary has featured Shanghai's contributions to China's
scientific and technological developments. The Wenhui Bao, a
local Party-controlled daily newspaper, published a series of
articles in September highlighting innovation, featuring
projects such as the Dongtai Wind Farm near Yangshan Deep Water
Port. The Shanghai Science and Technology Museum opened a "60th
anniversary science and technology" exhibit on September 23,
which will run until October 15. In the period prior to October
1, local newspapers also reported on the progress of the
Hongqiao Transportation Hub -- Shanghai's largest infrastructure
project (Ref B). Located in the western suburbs of Shanghai,
the hub will integrate the new terminal of the Shanghai Hongqiao
International Airport, a high speed railway connecting Shanghai
to Beijing, inter-city shuttle trains, five subway lines, four
highways, and an extensive bus network.

REITERATING THE "FOUR LEADS" AND THE "FOUR CENTERS"

--------------------------------------------- ------

5. (SBU) The October 1 National Day holiday and the 60th
anniversary celebrations also have given the Shanghai Municipal
Government another opportunity to publicly to stake its claim as
a city of international importance. The "four leads" --
transforming Shanghai's economic growth model, enhancing
independent innovation, advancing reform and opening up, and
building a "socialist harmonious society" -- remain government
priorities; likewise, government officials emphasize the
importance of establishing Shanghai as an international
economic, financial, trade, and shipping center, collectively
known as the "four centers" (Ref C).

6. (SBU) During a speech commemorating the 60th anniversary of
the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC),
Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng took the opportunity at
the beginning of his remarks at the Shanghai CPPCC to call on
government officials "to make greater contributions towards
accelerating Shanghai's realization of the four leads and the
establishment of the four centers." On September 29, Mayor Han
Zheng again focused on the "four leads and four centers,"
closing his address to the assembled diplomatic corps by saying,
"Let's speed up our work towards realizing the "four leads"
vision and turning Shanghai into an international economic,
financial, trade and shipping center, and let's make new
contributions to our great motherland." (Note: Shanghai's goal
of building "four centers" requires a State Council endorsement,
but to date, the Central Government has endorsed only the
finance and shipping centers. Septel to follow. End note.)

"CITY OF IMMIGRANTS" MONIKER FITS AGAIN

---------------------------------------


SHANGHAI 00000411 003 OF 005


7. (SBU) Shanghai, traditionally known as a "city of
immigrants," remains dependent on the successful elevation of
its international standing in order to continue to attract
talent from within China and from overseas to drive the nation's
economy. Contributing approximately 14 percent of the Central
Government's fiscal revenue, Shanghai largely relies on more
than 150,000 expatriates, as well as several million Chinese
workers from outside Shanghai, to power economic growth.

8. (SBU) Not long ago, however, Shanghai faced the prospects of
having a not-so-happy story to tell by October, as the effects
of the global financial crisis appeared to be causing many of
the city's expatriates to return home earlier this year, leaving
the "New York of China" just ahead of the 60th anniversary and
the 2010 World Expo (Ref D). Reports in recent weeks suggest
that while Shanghai still faces significant economic challenges,
its economy has surged enough to stem the outflow of
white-collar workers, though, and the number of expatriates in
Shanghai appears to have stabilized. In fact, Shanghai has used
the financial crisis as an opportunity to attract financial
professionals from foreign countries as well as induced talented
Chinese to return home (Ref E). Blue-collar workers also appear
to be returning, and a local labor expert told PolOff in early
September that most Chinese migrants who had left the city
during the economic downturn have come back.

EDUCATE TO ELEVATE: FOCUS ON STUDENTS

-------------------------------------

9. (SBU) At the same time Shanghai is wooing outsiders to work
in the city, the municipal government also placed a greater
emphasis on taking care of its home-grown talent pool in 2009.
Mayor Han Zheng called finding jobs for university graduates a
"top priority" during his Work Report speech in January (Ref C),
a theme echoed by other city leaders. Anecdotally, this year's
graduates appeared to have done well with some universities
boasting as many as 80 or 90 percent of their graduates quickly
found jobs in their fields. Consulate contacts comment that
Shanghai's strong educational system gives it a competitive edge
over other Chinese cities with aspirations to provide
international financial and commercial services (septel to
follow). Municipal government leaders also have focused
increasing attention on primary and secondary schools as
evidenced by the number of high-level visits to local schools.
Party Secretary Yu and other leaders in recent weeks have
visited schools for ethnic minorities and/or migrant children,
drawing attention to municipal government efforts to improve the
education level for the city's least fortunate.

PLAYING SECOND FIDDLE IN NATIONAL CONCERTO

------------------------------------------

10. (SBU) Despite the city's proud boosterism, officials seem to
acknowledge that the 60th anniversary of the PRC's
establishment, although a national event, is primarily a Beijing
celebration. Shanghai's fireworks and light shows on October 1
will be in the evening, apparently timed to allow Shanghai
residents to watch the National Day parade in Beijing on
television in the morning. Seeking to remind residents of the
national significance of the 60th anniversary, local
neighborhood committees have directed Chinese flags to be placed
in store fronts.

SHANGHAI 00000411 004 OF 005

11. (SBU) In public statements and newspaper articles, municipal
government officials continue to balance lauding Shanghai's
success as China's "economic center" while deferring to the
"political capital" in Beijing. With memories of the 2006 Chen
Liangyu scandal still fresh (Ref F), local officials have been
careful to manage the Beijing-Shanghai rivalry in the run-up to
the October 1 holiday. Local newspaper headlines on September
29 highlighted Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng's promotion of
"clean government" in line with the "decision" of the 17th CCP
Central Committee Plenum, which met in Beijing the previous
week. Consulate contacts have commented in recent weeks that
Party Secretary Yu is more adept at managing the relationship
with Beijing than the disgraced Chen.

HISTORIC TIES IN HUAI'AN

------------------------

12. (SBU) The local-national balancing act is repeated in other
East China cities, which similarly have featured their local
accomplishments while punching their national credentials as
October 1 approaches. Huai'an, a city of 5.4 million people in
northern Jiangsu Province, launched its pre-October 1
festivities on September 28 with the joint opening of the 8th
Huaiyang Food Festival and 4th Huai'an Cross-Strait Economic
Forum. In order to boost the city's international credentials,
the Huai'an Foreign Affairs Office invited Ukraine's Ambassador
to China, members of the Shanghai Consular Corps, and several
Japanese representatives to the festival. During a meeting with
diplomats on September 27, Huai'an Municipal Communist Party
Secretary Liu Yongzhong highlighted the city's recent economic
achievements, specifically a rapid GDP growth rate that hit 13.6
percent in the first half of the year (reportedly the highest in
Jiangsu Province during the period) -- a figure Liu attributed
to a recent influx of Taiwan investment during a separate
conversation with PolOff. Further emphasizing the city's
economic achievements, city officials organized a windshield
tour of the 132-square kilometer development zone for festival
participants, particularly pointing out the sizable Taiwan firm
Foxconn's television screen factory.

13. (SBU) As the hometown of former Chinese premier Zhou Enlai,
Huai'an boasts historic links to the establishment of the PRC in
1949. Party Secretary Liu officially opened the festival not
far from Zhou Enlai's former residence where red banners
exhorted citizens to "earnestly study Zhou Enlai's brilliance to
establish a prosperous Huai'an." Liu emphasized that Huai'an,
as Zhou's hometown, should be especially focused on the CCP
Central Committee's objective of "people-oriented development."

SUZHOU CELEBRATING 60TH WITH A BANG

-----------------------------------

14. (SBU) Suzhou Vice Mayor Zhou Weiqiang told members of the
Shanghai Consular Corps attending his city's September 25
reception in honor of the October 1 National Day that there
would be sixty-two separate celebratory events throughout
Suzhou's districts and counties on October 1. There would not
be a parade in Suzhou, Zhou said, but the holiday would feature
such activities as singing competitions, athletic events, and
fireworks displays. An official at the Suzhou Foreign Affairs
Office added that in the days leading up to the October 1
celebrations, local cadres also are studying the Plenum
decision, telling the Deputy Principal Officer "the people are

SHANGHAI 00000411 005 OF 005


well acquainted with the Plenum's views on Party-building," and
the Party is working in "complete transparency" to make those
goals a reality. And calling attention to Suzhou's
contributions to the founding of the PRC, the September 25
reception featured the presence of three elderly military heroes
who had fought in the revolution.

COMMENT

-------

15. (SBU) Shanghai's observance of the October 1 National Day
holiday will be more subdued than the military parade in
Beijing, but the city's celebrations -- lights, fireworks, and
political speeches -- will attempt to make their own mark in
China's economic and financial center. With the Shanghai 2010
World Expo around the corner, municipal government officials are
touting Shanghai's accomplishments while being careful not to
antagonize Beijing. Media circles report that the national
propaganda will increase the scale of its World Expo publicity
efforts after the National Day celebrations are completed. City
leaders will remain cautious, however, to avoid saying or doing
anything to upset Beijing, particularly as they work closely
with the Central Government to stage a successful Expo. As
China celebrates its 60th anniversary, local officials also are
keeping a close eye on the economic recovery, hoping the
situation will continue to improve and empower Shanghai's drive
to create jobs and attract new talent.
CAMP

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