January 6-13, 2006
 
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"The most important characteristic of a chief executive of any region is that he or she should be a noble person."

- Li Ka Shing, business tycoon from Hong Kong, on the topic of the special administrative region's future chief executive. see more



Arabian delights


CHEF Tarek Mouriess carried about 10 kinds of ingredients in his suitcase on his flight to Shanghai to host an Arabic Food Promotion at the Hilton Shanghai.
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A lesson from Hong Kong

By Anson Xu

On the second day of the new year I flew to Hong Kong, one of my dream cities.

I had imagined Hong Kong as a city surrounded by the blue ocean, covered by vast greenery and with numerous natural and artificial beautiful scenes. I expected it to combine the cultures of both the East and the West since it is renowned as a global fashion centre.

When my plane descended over the bridges connecting the islands in the evening, I saw that the city was dotted with millions of lights, just like stars shining in the sky. This first impression was not bad.
But next morning it became a disaster, as I walked out of my hotel located in North Point.

I was horrified by the scene of the city before me. I could only think of one word in my brain: mess. I was prepared for Hong Kong to be very crowded since every metropolis is. I had thought that I would be able to bear it because I am from Shanghai. But I was wrong. I was totally shocked by the mess and breathlessness of this city.

Every street was jammed with shops and every shop was jammed with goods, let alone the crowds of stalls on the roadsides. The whole city looked like a grocery. Streets were narrow and I didn't find a two-way road all day. People struggled to throw themselves into the metro or buses and cars could hardly move in the downtown.

This city is absolutely over-constructed. People should have realized space was limited when pursuing more living facilities. The overloaded land endangers the prosperity of the city. Nobody will favour living or sightseeing in a salmon can.
I reckon there is an important lesson for Shanghai to learn from Hong Kong, given that Shanghai is undergoing speedy development and massive urban construction.

Careful planning is essential not only because over-heated urban construction brings economic risks but also because it could lead to the same embarrassing situation as now in Hong Kong.

Good city planning is required for the growth of a metropolis and the designer should look forward not 10 years but 100 years or more. We can never recreate the land once we have exhausted it. More skyscrapers are not a solution for the city's living environment.

Satellite cities should be built to relieve the pressure on the centre. It is not wise to lay down laws prohibiting immigration but the government definitely should support and encourage reducing the density of the downtown.

Fortunately, Shanghai is not an island city like Hong Kong, so we have opportunities to do better in 20 years' time - roughly the same period Shanghai is now believed to lag behind Hong Kong in respect to its level of urban development. Think ahead.

(The author is an in-house legal counsel in an international investment company in Shanghai)


Cai Shaoyao

Balance public opinion and judicial independence

 


Profle

End of the Dream
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Auto fans melt away
With the approach of the Formula One Grand Prix, Yu Zhifei, deputy general manager of the Shanghai International Circuit, was worried about how to attract enough spectators to the circuit and rev up sluggish fan interest in the event.
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Under artificial eyes

FOR most customers, CCTV (closed-circuit television) surveillance cameras installed in shops, banks, buses or metro stops and many other places, merit little attention. But for Xiao Gang, such cameras have become an agonizing and confusing problem.

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