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101 16 A Conversation with American Author Harrison Salisbury1 June 14, 1988 ZRJ: Secretary Jiang Zemin isn’t in Shanghai, so I’m meeting with you. I’ve read your book—it was the Chinese translation. I welcome you on your visit to Shanghai. Over the past several decades, Shanghai has made a great contribution to building China. It turned over 80% of its fiscal revenues to the central government . While this was helpful for the development of other provinces and cities , its own construction was affected to a certain extent. Currently, Shanghai’s urban construction is highly indebted, traffic is congested, housing is in short supply, and many urban facilities are in need of renovation. I’ve been working in Shanghai for several months now, and its population of over 12 million creates great pressure on me. This is because Shanghai is primarily a city of processing industries. Its raw materials, especially agricultural raw materials, all come from other provinces and cities. When prices of these raw materials increase, it causes production costs in Shanghai to go up and its fiscal revenues to go down, putting it in a very difficult position. A while back, prices rose quite a bit, so our people weren’t very satisfied with our work. University students in particular were critical of us. Salisbury: They’re hoping you’ll do better. ZRJ: We indeed weren’t doing very well, but since this year, there has been a turnaround in Shanghai because the central government has given us a considerable amount of autonomy and implemented a policy of fiscal contracting. That is to say, whereas in the past Shanghai turned over 80% of its revenues to the central government, it now turns over 70%, and if we do well in the future and create even more revenue, the percentage turned over can be a bit lower 1. This is the main part of a conversation between Zhu Rongji and American author Harrison Salisbury. The Chinese edition of Salisbury’s book The Long March–The Untold Story was published by the People’s Liberation Army Press in May 1986. Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 101 12/26/17 12:00 PM 102 A Conversation with American Author Harrison Salisbury still. This way, we have greater autonomy to work on our own construction and on our people’s livelihoods. Right now there’s a sort of pride in Shanghai, a hope of recovering its place as number one in the country. As a result, the morale of the people of Shanghai is gradually rising and we are gradually overcoming some significant difficulties . For example, this year almost 300,000 people came down with hepatitis,2 but this difficulty has passed. Shanghai used to be the place where implementation of the planned economy was most highly concentrated, but now the concept of a commodity economy is gradually taking root. I think this May was a turning point in Shanghai’s history. Beginning in May, industrial production in Shanghai began to rise. The industrial growth rate over the last few years was about 4–5%. It was 8.5% this May, and this trend will not weaken. That’s why I’m very confident about the future growth of Shanghai. Of course a very important condition for the development of Shanghai is that it implement the economic development strategy drawn up by the central authorities for the coastal areas. I should say that the situation in this regard is very good. Shanghai is working very hard to improve the investment environment ; foreign entrepreneurs are more interested in Shanghai than they used to be, and investments in Shanghai are also increasing quite rapidly. We plan to build a “New Shanghai” on the eastern side of the Huangpu River. That way we will be able to move industries from the west side of the river to the east side, so traffic congestion and other problems on the west side will be easier to solve. There’s already one tunnel under the Huangpu River; a second tunnel will be opened to traffic by the end of this year. Construction will begin on the Huangpu Bridge by the end of this year, and we’ll start building a second bridge by the end of next year. We’ll also build corresponding ports and airports and develop communications and digital telephone systems. At present we’re using US$3.2 billion in loans made to Shanghai by the World Bank and the International...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780815731405
Related ISBN
9780815731399
MARC Record
OCLC
1013519277
Pages
400
Launched on MUSE
2018-02-13
Language
English
Open Access
No
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