Chinese President Xi visits the financial center Shanghai

Chinese President Xi visits the financial center Shanghai

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a leaders’ meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in San Francisco, California, US, November 17, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque Acquires License Rights

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Shanghai, where he visited several places and learned about the city’s efforts to enhance its competitiveness as an international financial center, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Xi made the trip on Tuesday and Wednesday and inspected the Shanghai Futures Exchange, an exhibition on Shanghai’s science and technology innovations and the government-backed housing rental community, the report said.

He was seen with other government leaders, including Tsai Qi, head of the powerful General Secretariat of the Communist Party of China Central Committee that oversees the day-to-day affairs of the Chinese Communist Party.

Vice Premier He Lifeng, Secretary of the Communist Party of Shanghai Chen Jining, and Mayor Gong Zheng also accompanied his visit.

A video posted on state television showed Xi inspecting a humanoid robot and a section of an exhibition showcasing China’s integrated circuit technology, an industry in which he has been pushing for greater modernity and self-sufficiency.

He can also be seen touring an affordable housing complex in Shanghai’s Minhang District. The Chinese government has pledged in recent months to provide more support to boost affordable housing, as rising house prices in major cities like Shanghai deter many buyers.

This was his first visit to the city since November 2020, and comes a year after historic street protests against China’s Covid-19-free policy erupted in Shanghai.

The visit also coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, a testing ground for economic reforms that has struggled to deliver on its initial promise of a free flow of currency and easier international trade.

Shanghai is home to China’s largest foreign business community, hosting companies such as Tesla (TSLA.O), Disney (DIS.N) and L’OrĂ©al, but its economy and global reputation have been severely damaged by the two-month-old coronavirus. Lockdown caused by last year.

Xi’s visit also comes as confidence among foreign companies and private investors in China’s economy remains weak, weighed down by the country’s previous coronavirus policies and a years-long regulatory crackdown on sectors from technology to real estate that the government has begun to ease this year.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s overtures to both foreign companies and local businessmen over the past year, declaring the country open for business, have been met with skepticism in light of a broader anti-espionage law and moves like this. Such as raids on consulting firms, as well as the lack of policies to enhance trust.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh, Bernard Orr, Ella Kao and Ethan Wang; Preparing by Mohammed for the Arabic Bulletin) Editing by Mark Potter, Louise Heavens, Chizuo Nomiyama and Mark Porter

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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