Chen Gets 2nd Term as Mayor of Beijing at $55 a Month

Associated Press

Chen Xitong was reelected Saturday to a second five-year term as mayor of Beijing, the official New China News Agency reported.

Chen, 58, was elected along with seven vice mayors by the Beijing Municipal People's Congress, which closed Saturday. The agency said there were more candidates than seats and that the balloting was secret.

Chen is a popular mayor because of his willingness to listen to citizens' complaints. He has been known to occasionally take a bus to work or to work at a shop counter to get in touch with the people.

He said Saturday he makes about $55 a month as mayor, a salary an associate said is equivalent to that of a Beijing construction worker.

"I am the poorest-paid mayor of all the capitals in the world," Chen said.

He has worked as a policeman and factory official and spent the years of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution as a toilet cleaner.

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