China Focus: Forum debates "happy home" for citizens

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-28 17:52:46|Editor: Xiang Bo
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GUANGZHOU, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese-American Mayor Wayne Jone Lee focuses on how to create more opportunities and happiness for residents in his city of Millbrae, California.

To find answers to this question, he traveled to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

The 56-year-old mayor from the San Francisco Bay Area joined mayors from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area gathered at a parallel forum themed "Building an Inclusive Happy Home" during the fourth Understanding China Conference on Saturday.

Lee said he tried to provide more opportunities for family activities by building more libraries and arranging more concerts and activities for children.

He has great respect for China's development and thinks Guangzhou is a very beautiful city. "There should be no boundary between leisure, happiness and economic development," he said.

"Sharing development and improving people's livelihood" is one of the basic principles of building the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The outline development plan for the Greater Bay Area calls for improving people's livelihood by increasing the supply of high-quality public goods and services to make residents more satisfied, happy and secure.

In recent years, Guangzhou has invested heavily on education and medical care.

As the central city of the Greater Bay Area, Guangzhou already has more than 200 libraries and 60 museums and is planning on doubling the numbers of museums to enhance the city's function as a center for science, education and culture.

"An inclusive, happy home should provide residents with good employment, education, cultural and medical services," Chen Zhiying, executive vice mayor of Guangzhou, said at the forum.

Shenzhen is promoting the building of a smart city, which gives individuals and families easy access to digital resources, information resources and government services, according to Wu Yihuan, vice mayor of the city.

For example, people in Shenzhen could apply for permits to travel to Hong Kong and Macao on self-service machines in the community.

"We are building the city into an inclusive and happy home via data services, to provide government services to every individual, family and company," Wu said.

Technologies such as blockchain and big data are becoming new tools to improve public services in the Greater Bay Area.

An identity authentication platform based on blockchain technology was launched in Chancheng District in the city of Foshan in 2017, which allows citizens to handle various certification items on mobile phones, according to Cai Jiahua, executive vice mayor of Foshan.

Martin Jacques, a senior fellow of the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, believes that the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is moving toward a new type of economy.

"The new type of economy, work and lifestyles generate completely different priorities to those of previous eras, which has led to the shift from just work to a new work-life balance," he said.