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This special series features the city's most important annual political conferences, Lianghui, or Two Sessions, which runs from January 26 to 31.

Throughout the week, Andy Boreham from Shanghai Daily will give you a multimedia roundup of what Lianghui is all about and what's going on during the event.

The Shanghai People's Congress, comprising more than 850 deputies, is the city's legislative body that formulates laws and regulations, and makes proposals and suggestions to solve issues in citizens' daily lifes.

What did they do last year?

Since last year, the Shanghai People's Congress has made 38 proposals and 869 suggestions in every aspect, including residential property management, garbage sorting, urban security, protecting the rights and interests of senior citizens, preventing juvenile crimes, self-driving, cracking down on illegal loan sharking, protecting historic buildings, and supervising online food delivery platforms. A record 71.1 percent of suggestions have been adopted.

The congress has made all these proposals and suggestions public online, and established a tracking mechanism to check the progress of how the proposals are dealt with in real-time.

Key issues include:

The Free Trade Zone

A revision of the city's regulation of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone was mulled last year, supporting the new round of reform in the zone in response to the central government’s strategy of expanding it.

Prepaid Cards

The congress has formulated regulations regarding prepaid cards issued by owners of gyms, beauty salons and other businesses in order to prevent customers from being left in the lurch if they suddenly disappear without returning the money.

Property Management

Regulations on residential property management regarding emergency maintenance procedures and making it easier to raise maintenance funds have also been revised, so that residents and property managers will have less disputes.

Social Assistance

Last year, the congress also formulated regulations around social assistance in order to expand assistance coverage to low income families and those who come across sudden expenditure, like the treatment of serious diseases.

Religious Issues

Revisions have also been made to the regulations surrounding religious issues, which stipulate that urban-rural development plans must include venues where religious activities can be held.

Historic Buildings

The congress also reviewed the regulations on the protection of historic buildings, planning to intensify the protection of zones where clusters of historic buildings are located, and to make harsher punishments for those who destroy historic cultural heritage.

Garbage Sorting

The congress formulated new regulations on domestic garbage management based on dozens of visits to different types of communities and enterprises, as well as a survey covering more than 15,000 citizens.

Integration of the Yangtze River Delta

To better support the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region, the congress has also worked closely with its counterparts in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces to better advance integration, including a team effort in work agenda arrangement and legislation.

Word on the street:
What are people concerned about?

In this section, our reporters interviewed some pedestrians on Shanghai's streets and asked what issues they are concerned most about regarding the city. Let's see what they said.

VOICES AT THE SESSIONS

Tu Haiming

Tu Haiming

CPPCC member

The key point in the lift of Shanghai’s growth quality is to improve land management, especially land allocated for manufacturing. I suggest closely monitoring the efficiency of land use.

Chen Dawu

Chen Dawu

CPPCC member

Shanghai should formulate new industrial standards to guide companies in the updating of their products and services. At the same time, it shouldn’t be completely carried out through administrative orders.

Qian Shichao

Qian Shichao

CPPCC member

The city should roll out a set of new standards to define technological companies that have core competitiveness, regarding the proposed Nasdaq-style board for technology companies. Meanwhile, there should be a reasonable exit system to guarantee the quality of the board.

What's Lianghui in Andy's eyes?

Today I really got to appreciate the sheer amount of work involved with running a mega city like Shanghai. One aspect that really impresses me is the sheer amount of research that’s done at the grassroots level into any proposed new laws or regulations and how they will not only work, but affect ordinary people — one of the methods of research is taking onboard suggestions from 22,000 residents. That really goes to show that consideration isn’t just given to issues from afar, but that people’s realities are really taken into account before any new changes are made.