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Big, big things happening in Shanghai's Anting city.

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"SHANGHAI International Automobile City, touted as China's Detroit, is building itself into a multi-functional automobile hub with extra investment to bolster its research and development capacity and auto trade.

Zhou Bin, planning department manager of Shanghai International Autocity Development Co Ltd, said the AutoCity, located in Anting in west Shanghai's Jiading District, would have an additional investment of not less than 38 billion yuan (US$4.75 billion) by 2010. Shanghai had planned to spend 50 billion yuan between 2001 and 2010 to build the AutoCity as an automobile center in China and Asia Pacific, which is expected to generate 300 billion yuan worth of automobile trade revenue annually. However, since the groundbreaking ceremony in 2001, more than 38 billion yuan have already been invested.

"We have attracted car manufacturers and auto part makers to build plants here and have laid a solid foundation for the development of Shanghai's auto industry," Zhou told Shanghai Daily.

"Over the next five years, more auto experts would be brought in to boost Anting's development, the R&D capability would be also be enhanced and the total investment would definitely surpass the original plan," Zhou said. The creation of six functional districts including a Formula 1 Circuit, a large-scale automobile manufacturing park, exhibition centers and trade zones have been completed during the last five years. Over 184 industrial projects have been attracted and more than 100 auto part makers had built their plants by 2004.

The manufacturing park could help carmakers such as Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corp and Shanghai Volkswagen turn out 500,000 vehicles annually. The spare parts assembly industrial zone, which hosts firms like Delphi and Visteon, has also become the most important car components supplier center for foreign automakers including DaimlerChrysler AG and General Motors Corp in China.

Among the new projects, SAIC, the nation's second biggest automaker, began construction of its automobile research institute last Friday. The 1.8-billion-yuan project is the main R&D platform to develop self-branded models and new fuel vehicles. Tongji University, which rolled out China's first fuel-cell sedan, moved more departments and the automobile division to Anting."

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I have seen pictures of this place. It's a monumental project, entire city will be built for workers and businessmen. Some of the best architects in the world are designing buildings of glass and steel. It's the new face of China.
 
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