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Shanghai Municipal Government Press Conference Memo (June 19)
20/6/2007 16:36

1. Bloomberg: Is Shanghai government the only one that carries out law enforcement checkups in China? Or is Shanghai just one member of the national checkup system? Why did the government begin the checkup now? Did it do this in the past? Thanks.

Jiao Yang: The city¡¯s administrative law enforcement checkup is an important part of the city¡¯s legislative supervision, as well as an annual task to implement the State Council and the city¡¯s orders. This is for the first question.

The city used to conduct such checkup in the past. In 2004 and 2005, the city also launched administrative law enforcement checkup. In 2004, the checkup was mainly on the law documents of Administrative License Law, and in 2005 the checkup was a comprehensive one. Most checked units followed the laws and some problematic ones have solved their problems.

This year¡¯s key is to check how the six local regulations and rules which I mentioned just now are implemented. Involved departments are the city¡¯s education committee, health bureau, environmental protection bureau, food and drug administration, work safety supervision bureau and traffic bureau. Other city-level administrative law enforcement departments can conduct self-checkup and report to the city¡¯s legislature office. Thanks.

2. Shanghai Morning Post: Thanks to the spokeswoman. I¡¯m a reporter from Shanghai Morning Post and I have three questions. The first one: The city's "Three-year Action Plan" said more residents are complaining about landlords who divide apartments into dozens of small rooms and rent them out to numerous tenants. How will authorities solve this problem in the future? The second one:¡°Three-year Action Plan¡±also mentioned that the city will improve the property management methods. Can you explain how to¡°explore the service mode of residential areas that are not managed?¡±The third question is about administrative law enforcement checkup. The spokeswoman just mentioned there are two ways to conduct the checkup, self-check and key check. What is the difference between the two ways? Thanks.

Jiao Yang: The reporter asked about¡°collective renting¡±problem at first. Local citizens are concerned a lot about the crackdown on¡°collective renting,¡±which will involve numerous families. The Shanghai Committee of the Communist Party of China and Shanghai municipal government have paid much attention to this problem because it directly influences residents¡¯benefits, and to solve this problem is an important mission of setting up a harmonious society. The task has been listed into Shanghai¡¯s safe construction projects and is a key task of the city¡¯s "Three-year Action Plan" to improve management of residential areas.

The task is headed by the Shanghai Housing and Land Resources Administrative Bureau, which is working with related departments, districts and a county to conduct the crackdown. The main principle is: regulating house renting market, improving comprehensive management on residential areas to create a harmonious living condition for residents, and combining migrant population management and comprehensive management to regulate the mechanism and legal system on residential area management and eliminate the¡°collective renting¡±phenomenon in three years.

There are three aspects of the main measures. First is to put the mechanism into effect. Authorities in the city¡¯s districts and streets should jointly hold meeting on cracking down on¡°collective renting,¡±be responsible for their own jobs as well as cooperating with each other and handling the problem lawfully by setting up working mechanism and comprehensive coordination mechanism. Second is to bring landlords¡¯self-discipline into full play by signing convention to regulate the renting practices in residential areas. Third is to conduct a massive inspection of residential buildings to see just how widespread the problem is and where most of the divided apartments are located. Authorities will solve problems that have potential hazards and complained of by residents.

The work is headed by the Shanghai Housing and Land Resources Administrative Bureau, as well as public security department, industrial and commercial department, city planning department, population office, fire-fighting department, health department, tax department and comprehensive management department. The plan was put forward in the first half of this year and is expected to be implemented in the last half after being approved by the city government.

The reporter¡¯s second question is about the services for residential areas that are not under management. This is an old problem. Buildings in these areas were set up by companies (except real estate companies). Some companies went bankrupt or were restructured, so the buildings became isolated and didn¡¯t hire professional companies to offer property management services.

Residents in these areas can help themselves to run the areas, and related departments will guide them to hire professional companies to offer services, including repairing, greening and security.

The reporter asked about the self-check and key-check of law enforcement checkup. Units conduct self-checks to see how the laws and regulations are implemented. They can learn experience, find problems and put forward ideas to improve the weakness and write down in a report. The key-check is conducted by the city¡¯s legislative office to check how the six local regulations and rules are implemented. The Shanghai People¡¯s Congress and Shanghai CPPCC are also invited to join in the check group. The key-check is conducted by listening to reports, holding meetings, reviewing paper, field checks and seeking public opinion via the Internet to collect experience, uncover problems and improve law enforcement.

3. Phoenix: I have two questions. The first one is about the blue-green algae in Taihu Lake. Some environmental experts said another outbreak of algae may affect the east Taihu Lake which is closer to Shanghai. Has the city carried out any measures to prevent the pollution? The second question is about the city¡¯s investigation in developers. Shanghai is probing developers who are suspected of reserving properties unsold for speculation, including Tomson Riviera. Is there any new process about the investigation?

Jiao Yang: Water and environment authorities keep observation and inspection on the blue-green algae, concluding that the algae hasn¡¯t polluted Shanghai¡¯s water sources so far. The city will enhance cooperating with relevant institutes, nearby cities and provinces to treat pollution in the whole valley. There is no more information to supplement my previous report since I already introduced the measures on preventing and treating water pollution in last week¡¯s news release.

About the second question, the crackdown on wrongdoings in real estate market is still ongoing.

4. Hong Kong Oriental Daily News: Recently, some sources said the court has begun the trial in the pension fund case involving Wang Guoxiong and another person. I want to know whether the information is true. Another question is when trials of other involved people will begin? Will it be a public trial?

Jiao Yang: It¡¯s not appropriate for me to answer this question because it is about judicial proceedings. As a spokesperson of the city government, I¡¯m not the right person to answer it and I have no idea about the process of this case.

5. You just said that the establishment of harmonious residential areas is an important part of setting up a harmonious society. Can you talk about the problems in property management industry and how to conduct inspection and management on properties since there are more disputes between citizens and property management departments in recent years? According to the¡°Three-Year Action Plan,¡±the city will also set up a service appraisal system in property management industry. Can you make an example to explain how the system will benefit local residents? Thanks.

Jiao Yang: It¡¯s a good question which is of concern to local residents. We always hear about the problems on property management from media, we also encounter disputes and conflicts in our daily lives. I will talk about the situation and problems of Shanghai¡¯s property management industry.

Shanghai initially set up a market mechanism for property management. Property management companies must bid for newly-established residential areas and sign contracts with house owners to decide the service items and fees. Listed fees and services have become more popular among residents and property management companies.

Nearly 3000 companies have registered in industrial and commercial departments and are qualified to offer conduct property management services, including 46 grade A companies, 218 grade B companies, and 2,720 grade C companies. Nearly 200,000 people are working in the sector on management, security, repairing and planting plants. The sector has a lot of companies but most of them are small and not professional enough, and many workers are short on training and service skills. A competition mechanism hasn¡¯t been formulated and companies haven¡¯t put self-discipline into full play. The supervision of the property management sector needs to be improved.

The¡°Three-Year Action Plan¡±orders the property management industry to strengthen the self-discipline mechanism, set up service appraisal system, form company brands, develop professional market related to the property service sector, gradually separate property management services from technical work and explore service modes of unmanaged residential areas.

Referring to what benefits can residents get from the service appraisal system, I think the standard and good services can directly benefit resident. In order to satisfy residents, the city has begun a survey to test residents¡¯degree of satisfaction seasonally, and the result will affect the grading of manager and project, as well as the company¡¯s bidding for other project. The system can help raise people¡¯s degree of satisfaction and raise the reputation of the industry.

Local real estate authority and cultivation office jointly authorize agencies to conduct the survey and publish the top 100 property management companies, which aroused a lot of response. This move can help property management companies to raise the awareness of enhancing their brand and competing with other companies, as well as benefiting residents. Thanks.

6. Shanghai Securities News: The State Environmental Protection Administration has received an assessment report of the Shanghai-Hangzhou magnetic levitation line. What is the process of this project? Will the report affects the project¡¯s process? What is Shanghai government¡¯s response to the environment watchdog¡¯s attitude?

Jiao Yang: I haven¡¯t new information on this issue. I already said in earlier news release that preparation is ongoing on the Shanghai stretch of this project, including handing in the assessment report to the environment watchdog. The watchdog has received the report.

7. Oriental Morning Post: I have two questions. I want to learn about the city¡¯s measures to secure a sufficient power supply in this summer because the peak season is coming. We have reported that a pedestrian overpass is expected to be built in the Lujiazui area of Pudong, which has caused a lot of discussions among residents. Can you tell me the progress of the overpass? Is it under construction or under a feasibility study? What the government¡¯s opinion about the possible effect of the overpass on views in Lujiazui?

Jiao Yang: In last news release, I already introduced the city¡¯s power supply situation in this summer. The reporter still cares about it because of citizens¡¯concerns and it is a challenge to Shanghai¡¯s operation. This year¡¯s peak demand is expected to top 21 million kilowatts and even 21.5 million kilowatts in extreme conditions in Shanghai. There is no gap between the electric supply and demand in this summer in normal conditions, but the gap may appear in some extreme conditions. Local authorities should ensure all their power generators are working safely and are stable; ensuring a reasonable inventory to meet the demands of electric power; saving energy and curbing consumption; making use of the economic lever to lower the use of power; preparing for weather disasters and accidents. I introduced these measures in last news conference, so reporters can search it on Websites.

Saving power and energy is still an important task. Shanghai¡¯s living conditions have improved, as well as people¡¯s demand, so power consumption is growing sharply. The gap between peak hours and off-hours has been shrunk, and companies and families are using more power than before. We hope reporters can summon the whole society to save power and energy by text, sound and camera. Governments at all levels should list the task on their agendas, as well as families. Shanghai has published a brochure giving residents 36 tips on how to save energy, we hope the media can promote the brochure to get residents to follow it. All Party and government organizations should save power as a good example, and temperature in buildings should be kept under 26 degrees Celsius. We hope the whole society can raise the awareness of saving power and energy.

We have learned about the overpass from Pudong New Area. With the development of Lujiazui area, pedestrians are often forced to walk along vehicle lanes, and accessibility between buildings is poor in the area, so an overpass is a necessity.

To curb the problem, the Pudong government in 2006 invited three companies to design a pedestrian overpass connecting buildings around the area. The designing plan is under study. The plan is taking several principles into consideration. The first is human-based principle. The design of the overpass should be a shortcut for pedestrians and satisfy the city¡¯s comprehensive functions. The second is the city¡¯s appearance. Lujiazui is a hot tourism destination, so it is also very important that the overpass should comply with the architectural style of surrounding buildings. The third principle is to be economical. Prices, construction feasibility and management methods should be taken into consideration on the basis of comfort and good-looking.

8. Singapore United Morning Post: Thanks to the spokeswoman. I have three questions. The fist one is about property management. Does property management include the control of noise? The second question is about the establishment of Shanghai-Hanzhou maglev. The Shanghai Housing and Land Resources Administrative Bureau said in an announcement saying that it has retrieved some related plots, and we heard that residents in some plots will be relocated. Do these moves mean that the construction of the maglev has begun? The third question is about a test-drive project. We heard that a big test-drive field was planned in Chongming Island to test new vehicles, but the project is said to have been suspended. Can you tell me of any progress in this project?

Jiao Yang: The control of noise is not included in the¡°Three-Year Action Plan¡±of residential areas, but it is mentioned in the city¡¯s¡°Three-Year Action Plan¡±of environmental protection. The city has measures and targets on controlling noise, including banning vehicle and moped drivers from honking horns in some areas to create a sound working and living environment and lower the noise to protect people¡¯s health. But the control of noise is not included in property management.

About the second question, the construction of maglev is still under preparation and the current work is prepared for the earlier stage.

About the third question, I haven¡¯t heard about the project you mentioned. You can ask local economic committee for information.

9. News Times: I have two questions. The first one, how satisfied are local people with the property management in society? The second one, a lot of students are living in hostels which are specially designed for students who are seeking jobs in Shanghai. This is also a form of¡°collective renting.¡±What human-based arrangements can we have when handling this kind of¡°collective renting?¡±

Jiao Yang: We can ask real estate department about people¡¯s degree of satisfaction for you. The seasonal survey is included in the property management service appraisal system, which is an important part of the¡°Three-Year Action Plan.¡±Such a survey was not conducted in every residential area in the past, but it will be expanded in the future.

The¡°hostel for job seeker¡±is an informal name for such hostels. If the hostel is set up in residential area, it may be changed from residential house or involved in¡°collective renting,¡±which needs checking. So-called¡°hostels for job seekers¡±satisfies a group of people¡¯s needs, but we must guarantee a harmonious and safe living condition for local residents. We must combine migrant population management and comprehensive management to eliminate the potential hazard of¡°collective renting.¡±

10. Malaysia: Hello. Does Shanghai have some special management plans on the residents living in top historical constructions?

Jiao Yang: Shanghai has strict management system on top historical construction which is different from management of new residential area. Many top historical constructions are banned from being sold, and the government and property authority have special management schemes on residents living there, which is not included in today¡¯s¡°Three-Year Action Plan.¡±

Top historical constructions are forbidden to be reconstructed without approval. Authorities can approve the maintenance and renovation on the constructions via procedures. We can offer you the protection and management plans on top historical construction after the meeting.

11. Jiefang Daily: I have a straight-forward question. What is the definition of¡°collective renting?¡±How many people should be involved? What regulation does the phenomenon violate? Can you explain it to us?

Jiao Yang: Officials of the Shanghai Housing and Land Resources Administrative Bureau are also present today, and you can ask them about the definition of¡°collective renting.¡±The¡°collective renting¡±we talk about now refers to landlords dividing apartments into dozens of smaller apartments and letting them out to numerous of tenants for profit, which can¡¯s secure a safe life or enough living space. The phenomenon appeared in recent years.

Media and residents complain a lot about the phenomenon because it has triggered wide public concern about safety and hazards, such as masses of cables winding together, insufficient fire-proof facilities. Some apartments are even unqualified to be rented. There are many laws and regulations against¡°collective renting,¡±including regulations on house renting, sanitation, fire control and public security.¡°Collective renting¡±can¡¯t satisfy these requirements and can¡¯t secure tenants¡¯safety and neighborhoods¡¯safety.

12. I Times: Thank to the spokeswoman. I have two questions. Now 20 government departments manage residential areas together instead of one department. What department should residents report to when they have problems? Is there a convenient way to instruct residents or to solve problems? How to prevent the departments from evading responsibilities? Is there special measures? Thanks.

Jiao Yang: Firstly, one target of the¡°Three-Year Action Plan¡±is to define the departments¡¯responsibilities on managing residential areas, which has been published as an attachment of the¡°Three-Year Action Plan¡±by the government. The 20 departments have clear responsibilities. I have said that there are two hotlines for residents. They can dial 12319 to contact city construction department and 962121 to contact real estate department, and the information can be integrated to better serve the residents.

We are working on the mechanism and system to prevent departments from evading responsibilities. Governments at all levels will regularly hold joint meeting. City¡¯s vice secretary-general will convene the city-level meeting, and the district officials will convene the district-level meeting. Such system is to prevent departments from shifting responsibilities to others. The city will gradually improve its laws and regulations to conduct the comprehensive management lawfully. By the setup of legal system and mechanism, the phenomenon you mentioned can be avoided.

13. Wenhui Daily: I have two questions about the¡°Three-Year Action Plan.¡±The plan is focusing on the development of a professional market, such as separating property management service and technical work, can you explain this mode? You just said 200,000 workers will join in this industry, including repairing, security and cleaning workers. Will employees from professional companies be involved in the property management industry? The repairing fund is insufficient for some residents, especially in old residences. It there some measures to handle this problem?

Jiao Yang: This question is very good. Separating property management service and technical working is a popular mode in the world, which can take all agencies and companies into full play, offer high-quality service and lower service costs. So it is necessary to promote this mode gradually. House owners needn¡¯t remember many telephone numbers when needing repairing workers because repairing companies have contracts with property management companies. Residents only need to contact the property management companies to ask for service. This mode is under exploration. We try to put forward a scheme this year and launch the mode next year.

Governments at all levels will cooperate with real estate companies and residents to collect funds on renovating old residences and setting up property management platform in three years to realize the target. The city government will carry out effective measures to secure enough fund to implement the¡°Three-Year Action Plan.¡±

14. Securities Times: Thanks to the spokeswoman. I want to know how to secure the rights and interest of disadvantaged groups in the city when cracking down on¡°collective renting.¡±

Jiao Yang: I have mentioned this problem when answering other reporters¡¯questions. The crackdown on¡°collective renting¡±should be standardized and secure people¡¯s safety, as well as considering the city¡¯s needs. The¡°Three-Year Action Plan¡±doesn¡¯t cover every aspect but it can co-work with regulations in other sectors. The target of the crackdown is not a certain group. Human lives are precious, and¡°collective renting¡±can cause a lot of hazards. We should inform people of the hazards first and then meet the needs of different groups on the basis of safety.

Today¡¯s news release is ending. Thanks to all the reporters.