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    Jiao Yang
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    Chen Qiwei
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Highlights of October 27 Press Conference on Shanghai’s major infrastructure projects


Yin Hong, deputy secretary general of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government
Qin Yun, chief engineer of Shanghai Municipal Construction and Transportation Commission
Xu Wei, spokesman for the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government
Oriental Morning Post: I noticed that the city’s 12th Five-Year Plan gave priority to the development of suburbs and new towns. Could you give details of the plan? Are there any projects, especially large projects? Thanks!
Yin Hong: I will brief you on the background of the plan. First, it is true that Shanghai is focusing on the development of certain areas that lie in the suburbs and rural outskirts. Second, according to the blueprint of the CPC Shanghai Committee and the Municipal Government, Shanghai will accelerate its urban-rural integration process, as required by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. We hope Shanghai will take a national lead in urban-rural integration and in narrowing the gap between cities and the countryside. We have set ourselves very high standards.
It is against this background that infrastructural construction becomes so important during the 2011-2015 period because the development of new population centers hinges on infrastructure such as roads, utilities and communication networks. According to the Metro plan approved by the National Development and Reform Commission, every new town in Shanghai will have access to the Metro system during the period, and new towns will be connected by high-grade roads or expressways. These infrastructural facilities can meet people’s demand for transportation.
Meanwhile, we should make forward planning for utilities and build a power network with 220kv transformer substations. Developing new urban centers is a huge task during the 12th Five-Year Plan period and the construction of infrastructure is key to the fulfillment of this task.
I have mentioned three or four new satellite towns. Their construction is proceeding according to the schedule of the city’s master plan. Songjiang New Town has taken shape and will be completed by 2015. Jiading New Town is still under construction and we believe its pace of construction will pick up during the period. The construction of Qingpu New Town is in full swing. Its planned area is very large, spanning from the old town area to Zhujiajiao. Nanqiao New Town in Fengxian District has a planned area of about 10 square kilometers. Its infrastructure construction has been accelerated. The Hongmei Road Tunnel under the Huangpu River is designed mainly for Nanqiao New Town.
Shanghai Morning Post: I’d like to know how Shanghai’s key construction projects listed in the 12th Five-Year Plan differ from those in the previous Five-Year Plan. Thank you.
Yin Hong: Infrastructure construction during the 11th Five-Year Plan period was unprecedented because a number of facilities were urgently needed to ensure the construction of the “Four Centers” (for economy, finance, trade and shipping) and the success of the World Expo. There was enormous capital input in that period.
Infrastructure construction will remain intense during the 12th Five-Year Plan period for the following reasons. First, urban construction continues to expand and requires big investment. Second, the construction of the “Four Centers,” especially the shipping center, is to serve the Yangtze River Delta region and the country as a whole. It entails massive input in transportation and communication facilities. Third, the city’s urban facilities and management were upgraded remarkably thanks to the World Expo. The city’s new changes have earned praises from local residents and visitors from home and abroad. This also means higher expectations and more pressure for us.
During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, we will invest more in ecological conservation and environmental protection. We will allocate more funds for water treatment and afforestation in addition to transportation and electricity projects. This will ensure the city’s sustainable development and improve the image of Shanghai as an international metropolis.
Eastday.com: The recent conflict between home buyers and some real estate developers in Pudong over price cuts has attracted much media attention. I want to know if the price cut is a normal market practice. Will the city government intervene because many people who bought houses earlier at higher prices demand an explanation from the developers. What’s the government reaction to this conflict?
Xu Wei: Shanghai has firmly implemented the State Council’s policies to tighten the housing market and has accelerated the construction of affordable housing since the beginning of this year. Generally speaking, the city’s commercial housing supply is in balance with the market demand. Housing price inflation has been brought under control and the index of new home prices has stabilized for three months since July. All these indicate the tightening measures have taken effect and the real estate market is in stable operation.
We also noticed that the home prices of some residential projects dropped steeply recently and led to disputes between those who bought homes earlier at higher prices and the developers. Certain government departments are mediating between the involved parties and are guiding them to solve disputes in a rational and legal manner.
According to China’s law and regulations on price management, developers and home buyers should decide prices through negotiation. Each residential unit should have its own price. If the two parties have a dispute, it should be settled according to the signed contract. If no agreement can be reached through negotiation, the two parties can seek judicial help. Relevant government departments will strengthen supervision of the housing market and crack down on illegal practices.
Shanghai will continue to carry out the housing market tightening policies and monitor market changes to ensure the healthy development of the city’s real estate market.
Radio Shanghai: My question is about the auxiliary facilities for the China Expo and the Shanghai Disneyland. Could you give us some details? Thank you!
Yin Hong: The plan for the China Expo has been drafted and there is consideration to make the China Expo a perennial show. A huge number of visitors are expected and a lot of civic facilities are needed to ensure smooth traffic. We are working on the details of the plan and aim to speed up the construction of the Shanghai International Trade Center according to the cooperation agreement between the Municipal Government and the Ministry of Commerce.
Qin Yun: The construction of the China Expo venue in the Hongqiao Commercial Hub does exerted pressure on the city’s infrastructure and traffic system. We plan to accomplish the construction target by phases. Road projects are given priority in the 12th Five-Year Plan, such as the extension projects of the Jiading-Minhang Highway.
There are nearly 10 road projects in this area to guarantee the normal operation of the China Expo, including Metro and bus terminals.
As for the Shanghai Disneyland, we will build nine supporting facilities, mostly roads and a Metro line leading to the international tourist resort.
Capital Week: Regarding the investment in roads leading to the Shanghai Disneyland, could you say a bit more about the Metro project. Thank you!
Yin Hong: Investment in roads is made according to the construction schedule. There is no worry about it. Some of the roads are new and some require renovation or expansion. The elevated Shenjiang Road is built exclusively for the Shanghai Disneyland and an extra lane will be added to the S2 Highway that connects the Shanghai Disneyland. Altogether nine roads will be built or upgraded. A new company has been set up to run the Shanghai Disneyland project and oversee infrastructural development in the area.
Qin Yun: Because the plan for the Shanghai Disneyland is still evolving, the final budget of investment is still undecided. It all depends on the circumstances.