June 2019

Platform launched to enhance China’s community-level healthcare services

BEIJING — A capacity building platform designed for community-level healthcare services was officially launched Monday by the National Health Commission (NHC). The report delivered at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China points out that community-level healthcare services should be improved and the work of general practitioners strengthened. The NHC launched a capacity building and training program for community level talents in 2018, and prepared to establish capacity building platform combining online and offline efforts. Talent team building is the key component to enhancing community level healthcare services, said Wang Hesheng, NHC deputy director. Wang said he hoped that community level healthcare workers across China could make the best of the platform, work hard to enhance their services and contribute to the Healthy China initiative.

China’s top political advisor meets Pakistan’s senate deputy chairman

China’s top political advisor Wang Yang (right) meets with Deputy Chairman of the Pakistani Senate Saleem Mandviwala on April 15, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua] BEIJING — China’s top political advisor Wang Yang on Monday met with Deputy Chairman of the Pakistani Senate Saleem Mandviwala, calling for strengthened cooperation and a closer China-Pakistan community of shared future. Hailing the time-tested friendship between the two countries, Wang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, said that bilateral ties has maintained sound development momentum and constant progress in friendly cooperation. “China stands ready to work with the Pakistani side to implement the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, maintain high-level exchanges, deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges, advance the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and promote cooperation in economy, trade and investment, so as to build a closer China-Pakistan community of shared future,” Wang said. Mandviwala said that Pakistan pays high attention to participation in the Belt and Road construction and would like to work with China to advance building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and continue to strengthen pragmatic cooperation in various fields and advance bilateral ties.

President Xi Jinping inspects Chongqing

President Xi Jinping inspects Southwest China’s Chongqing municipality on April 15, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua] President Xi Jinping inspected Southwest China’s Chongqing municipality Monday. Xi visited a primary school and the Huaxi village in Shizhu Tujia autonomous county. He learned about the progress of poverty alleviation and in solving prominent problems, including meeting the basic needs of food and clothing and guaranteeing compulsory education, medical services and housing.

China issues revision of land survey database standards

BEIJING — A proposed revision of land survey database standards was released, according to National Geomatics Center of China on Monday. A Classification code table of uninhabited islands utilization status is added in the proposed revision, which also specified the plantation nature of cultivated land for food crops, non-food crops and crop rotation. China started its third national land survey in 2017. The survey aims to collect accurate data on the country’s land resources, including acreage, distribution and the condition of different types of land, according to the State Council. The survey is scheduled to be completed by 2020. China’s second national land survey was conducted between 2007 and 2009. The country’s first national land survey ended in 1996.

Premier Li signs revised regulation on gov’t information disclosure

BEIJING — Premier Li Keqiang has signed a revised regulation on the disclosure of government information to better respond to public concerns. The revision, based on the 2008 version, is aimed at increasing openness of government affairs and resolving prominent problems in government information disclosure. It also represents the headway and achievements made in this field over the past years and clarified the scope of government information disclosure, calling for constantly expanding information disclosure. Stressing the need to improve the legal rights and interests of the applicants and related parties when applying for information disclosure in accordance with procedures, the revision also made necessary stipulations on the improper exercise of application rights by a small number of applicants affecting the normal conduct of government information disclosure. Efforts should be made to improve the effectiveness of government information disclosure by using information technology, to enable government information to play its due role in serving the people, it added. The regulation will go into effect on May 15.

Govt moves to cut chemical plant risks

An aerial view of the Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co in Xiangshui county, Yancheng, Jiangsu province, after the explosion on March 21. [WANG JING/CHINA DAILY] Special expert to be assigned, factories to be moved away from residential areas Authorities said special experts will be designated to help govern the hazardous chemical industry in key areas, while ramping up efforts to move plants out of densely populated areas. The move comes as an investigation into a deadly explosion at a chemical plant in Jiangsu province continues. Counties listed as key ones for concentrations of chemical factories will be assigned at least two experts as special consultants to offer technical support to local authorities’ supervision work, according to a guideline from the State Council’s Work Safety Committee. The document, published on Monday by the Ministry of Emergency Management, said the experts will be chosen based on each of the counties’ needs and in light of possible differences in their major types of chemical plants. It said the experts will also contribute to emergency rescue and safety training work. While assisting enterprises in their construction of safety infrastructure, they are also expected to help enhance grassroots law enforcement capabilities. “The facilities and technologies in the hazardous chemical industry are complicated by their variety, and they also involve many flammable and combustible materials with huge potential safety hazards,” the document said, adding that with the industry’s rapid development, new facilities and technologies continue to emerge, making supervision work increasingly demanding. It has been an increasing challenge that officers lack the expertise needed for proper supervision, which has been “a bottleneck that hinders further improvement of safe production”, it said. The document was made public as the probe into the deadly blast at a chemical plant continues in Xiangshui county of Yancheng, Jiangsu province. On Monday, police detained another 17 people for their roles in the blast at Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co that claimed the lives of 78 and injured more than 600 on March 21. The publicity department of Yancheng said the 17 people were from Tianjiayi and organizations suspected of providing fake evaluations of the company’s operations. So far 26 people have been criminally detained. No conclusion has yet been made about the case, but multiple sources have suggested that the company’s casual handling of its hazardous chemical waste could have contributed. Local authorities will shut down the chemical industrial park where Tianjiayi is located. Before the guideline’s release, Wang Jiangping, vice-minister of industry and information technology, vowed to promote the relocation of hazardous chemical enterprises from densely populated areas by enhancing coordination in key areas and projects, according to a media release on Monday. Wang made the comment during a conference of a special work group for the relocation work on Friday. The group has members from various central government bodies. Wang, who is also head of the group, said his team will make efforts to promote local governments’ awareness of the urgency of the relocations and intensify safety and environmental monitoring as the work moves forward. According to a circular released by the General Office of the State Council in September 2017, China plans to correct, move or shut down all hazardous chemical enterprises located too close to residential areas by the end of 2025. The minimum distance for different types of hazardous chemicals from residential areas vary in China’s national standard, but many are set beyond 500 meters. The country’s top environmental watchdog has also pledged to enhance its management over chemicals. Qiu Qiwen, head of solid waste and chemicals management at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said during a news conference late in March that the ministry would promote the draft of a special law or regulation regarding the assessment and control of environmental risks posed by chemicals.

Financial lifeline boost for SMEs

Initiative will allow enterprises to overcome cash shortages and enhance their development A plan rolled out by the central authorities to create a level playing field and boost financing channels for small and medium-sized enterprises will inject fresh impetus for the growth of SMEs, officials and experts said. The guideline on promoting the healthy development of SMEs, jointly released by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council on April 7, highlighted the importance of creating a more enabling environment and solving the difficulties faced by the SMEs in financing procedures. Wang Jiangping, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said the guideline has provided more targeted, concrete and effective measures to tackle the growing downward pressure faced by SMEs. The SME sector in China, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the total number of businesses, has contributed to over 50 percent of the country’s tax revenues, over 60 percent of GDP, over 70 percent of innovations in technology and over 80 percent of urban employment, according to the State Council. “The guideline will play a significant role to boost the morale for the development of SMEs and promote their healthy and sustainable development,” Wang told a news briefing on Friday. The guideline called for more attention to the problems impeding further growth of SMEs, such as rising costs, financing difficulties and inadequate innovation capability. To solve these problems, the country will improve the business environment for SMEs by further broadening market access, simplifying administrative procedures and strengthening market supervision and regulation, according to the guideline. A variety of financial policy tools, including targeted required reserve ratio cuts and the use of small and medium-sized enterprise loans as collateral for medium-term lending facilities granted by the central bank, will be employed to make it easier and cheaper for businesses to access credit through subsidies and bank loans. More favorable policies in financial and tax policies, including exemptions for interest received from value added tax, tax breaks for small firms and startups, a lower social security contribution ratio and an increase in government procurement, will also be made available to SMEs, the guideline said. In order to create a level playing field for SMEs, Wang said the authority will introduce a negative list mechanism for market access to remove unreasonable barriers and restrictions to help SMEs.

China reiterates resolve to protect sovereignty, territorial integrity

File photo: Ma Xiaoguang, spokespersonwith the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn] BEIJING – Nobody should underestimate China’s firm resolve and strong ability to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, a mainland spokesperson said Tuesday. Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson with the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, made the remarks in response to the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration’s slander of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) regarding its patrol around China’s island of Taiwan during joint exercises. The PLA’s recent training exercises are routine arrangements in the annual plan aimed at safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and safeguarding the common interests of people on both sides, Ma said. The DPP administration’s attempts to deceive and mislead residents of Taiwan, provoke and escalate cross-Strait confrontation, and undermine cross-Strait relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait will not succeed, Ma said.

National meeting held to discuss relocation

Hu Chunhua, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and head of the State Council Leading Group of Poverty Alleviation and Development, attends a national meeting on the relocation issue on Friday in Kaili city, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture, Guizhou province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] A national-level meeting on the relocation issue was held last Friday in Kaili city, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong autonomous prefecture, Guizhou province. Premier Li Keqiang sent an instruction to the meeting, emphasizing relocation projects must be a reliable, long-term mechanism to guarantee the livelihoods of relocated villagers. Hu Chunhua, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and head of the State Council Leading Group of Poverty Alleviation and Development, illustrated the importance of cultivating county economies through measures like encouraging enterprises to invest in local industries, introducing labor-intensive industries in resettlement areas and providing more job and work training opportunities. Hu said resettlement areas should be chosen carefully in urban-rural integration, especially with regard to infrastructure and public service, to help rural villagers better adapt to the new environment. Li Hanyi contributed to this story.