In his first news conference with journalists on Wednesday, the newly elected mayor of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, Qin Weizhong, characterized the city as vibrant, energetic, young and fashionable, and he laid out his vision for the future.
After serving as acting mayor for several weeks, Qin was elected to the post by delegates to the 7th Shenzhen Municipal People's Congress in their first session earlier in the day.
Speaking to the journalists, Qin said Shenzhen has all the necessary elements for innovation and entrepreneurship, with policies and a business environment suitable for young talents to develop themselves in the city.
He also lauded Hong Kong for its active cooperation with Shenzhen in science and technology innovation.
"I want to thank Hong Kong for its long-term support and assistance in the development of Shenzhen. Now the cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong is becoming closer. This has effectively promoted the mutual growth of the two cities," Qin said.
Collaborating with Hong Kong, Shenzhen is deepening its mastery of science and technology, including accelerating the construction of future experimental facilities, an international quantum research institute and other innovation platforms.
Shenzhen currently has 17.56 million residents, with an average age of 32.5, making it one of the youngest major cities in China. Over the past 10 years, its population has increased more than 7 million, the largest increase for a city on the Chinese mainland.
It has more than 1,200 free parks, and it boasts forest coverage of nearly 40 percent.
Yet despite its reputation as a hub of innovation, Qin said, Shenzhen also has shortcomings and weaknesses in basic research and application that limit the city. According to the municipal government's work report, Shenzhen is expected to see about a GDP growth of 6.5 percent this year, a roughly 5 percent increase in budget revenue and a more than 8 percent rise in fixed asset investment.