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Sonia meets Shanghai's new Communist Party chief

world Updated: Oct 29, 2007 09:05 IST

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Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi has become the first foreign leader to meet with the new Communist Party Secretary of Shanghai, China's gleaming commercial hub.

Sonia called on Yu Zhengsheng, the new Communist Party secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee, who was appointed only on Saturday to the high-ranking post.

"I am only two-days-old in the new post," Yu told Gandhi, adding that she was the first foreign dignitary to meet him on the last leg of her five-day China tour.

Significantly, Gandhi was also the first foreign political party head to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao since he was re-elected as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China on October 22 by the 17th Central Committee of the CPC.

Meanwhile, Yu succeeds Xi Jinping, who was elected as a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee last week.

Yu, 62, a member of the new Politburo of the CPC Central Committee, was most recently Party secretary of the Hubei Provincial Committee of the CPC.

The post of the Party Secretary of Shanghai is very sensitive politically, especially since the "bad influence" cast by a major corruption scandal involving the former Party Chief, Chen Liangyu.

"With concerted efforts, Shanghai shook off the bad influence left by Chen Liangyu's case and moved ahead as a harmonious and stable society with a prosperous economy," Xi was quoted as saying by 'Shanghai Daily' here.

Chen was dismissed in September, 2006 after it was found that the city's USD 1.27 billion corporate annuities had been managed via irregular loans without proper collateral and placed in risky investments.