Posts tagged ‘National Development and Reform Commission’

05/03/2014

* China to ‘declare war’ on pollution, premier says | Reuters

China is to “declare war” on pollution, Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday at the opening of the annual meeting of parliament, with the government unveiling detailed measures to tackle what has become a hot-button social issue.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang gives an address during a news conference with French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (not pictured) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing December 6, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Mark Ralston/Pool

It is not uncommon for air pollution in parts of China to breach levels considered by some experts to be hazardous. That has drawn much public ire and is a worry for the government, which fears any discontent that might compromise stability.

“We will resolutely declare war against pollution as we declared war against poverty,” Li told the almost 3,000 delegates to the country’s largely rubber-stamp legislature in a wide-ranging address carried live on state television.

Curbing pollution has become a key part of efforts to upgrade the economy, shift the focus away from heavy industry and tackle the perennial problem of overcapacity, with Li describing smog as “nature’s red-light warning against inefficient and blind development”.

“This is an acknowledgement at the highest level that there is a crisis,” said Craig Hart, expert on Chinese environmental policy and associate professor at China’s Renmin University.

“Their approach is going to have to be pro-economy. I think they will pump money into upgrading plants. This could be another green stimulus although it is not being packaged that way.”

China has published a series of policies and plans aimed at addressing environmental problems but it has long struggled to bring big polluting industries and growth-obsessed local governments to heel.

Li said efforts would focus first on reducing hazardous particulate matter known as PM 2.5 and PM 10 and would also be aimed at eliminating outdated energy producers and industrial plants, the source of much air pollution.

China will cut outdated steel production capacity by a total of 27 million tonnes this year, slash cement production by 42 million tonnes, and also shut down 50,000 small coal-fired furnaces across the country, Li said.

The 27 million tonnes of steel, equivalent to Italy’s production capacity, amounts to less than 2.5 percent of China’s total, and industry officials have warned that plants with another 30 million tonnes of annual output went into construction last year.

The targeted cement closures amount to less than 2 percent of last year’s total production.

The battle against pollution will also be waged via reforms in energy pricing to boost non-fossil fuel power. Li promised change in “the way energy is consumed and produced” through the development of nuclear and renewables, the deployment of smart power transmission grids, and the promotion of green and low-carbon technology.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s economic planner, said in its report that new guidelines would be issued on relocating key industries away from urban centers to help tackle smog.

via China to ‘declare war’ on pollution, premier says | Reuters.

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13/02/2014

* China spends billions on rural education – Xinhua | English.news.cn

The Chinese central government has invested 61.8 billion yuan (10.1 bln U.S. dollars) improving schoolhouses and educational facilities in rural areas over the past four years.

Since 2010, 39.9 billion yuan from the central budget has been used in schoolhouse renovation and 21.9 billion yuan in educational equipment, said Liu Limin, deputy minister of education, at a press conference on Thursday.

Money was also used to build cafeterias at schools in 699 “poor” counties, after media reports exposed that some students in remote villages have to cook for themselves during study time, according to Liu.

The deputy minister revealed that the ministries of education and finance and the National Development and Reform Commission jointly worked out a plan on improving the level of education in poor areas at the end of last year.

The plan aims at completing six major tasks in three to five years, including improving basic school facilities like teaching equipment, sports grounds and toilets, promoting digital teaching methods and improving the quality of teaching staff, according to Liu.

He also said that the ministry will try to ensure better compulsory education and care for 23 million rural left-behind children at school age, who stayed alone or with their relatives while their parents go to cities to make a living.

via China spends billions on rural education – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

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11/02/2014

China’s power capacity up 94 mln kw in 2013 – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China’s installed power capacity increased by 94 million kilowatts (kw) in 2013, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said on Monday.

Thermal power accounted for the bulk of the capacity growth, topping 36.5 million kw, followed by 29.93 million kw from hydropower, 14.06 million kw from on-grid wind power, 11.3 million kw from on-grid solar power and 2.21 million kw from nuclear power.

The country’s total installed power capacity topped 1.25 billion kw at the end of 2013, up 9.3 percent year on year.

Thermal power accounted for the bulk of the total capacity at the end of 2013, reaching more than 860 million kw, up 5.7 percent year on year.

On-grid solar energy capacity increased by 340 percent from a year earlier.

China’s electricity consumption, a key indicator of economic activity, rose 7.5 percent year on year to 5.32 trillion kilowatt hours in 2013, according to the NEA.

The growth rate exceeded the 5.5-percent rise registered in 2012, but was lower than the 11.7-percent rise registered in 2011.

via China’s power capacity up 94 mln kw in 2013 – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

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11/01/2014

China invests 2.6 bln USD to protect major riverheads – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China will invest 16 billion yuan (2.6 billion U.S. dollars) to protect Sanjiangyuan, the cradle of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers in northwestern Qinghai Province.

English: Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve,...

English: Sanjiangyuan National Nature Reserve, Qinghai,PRC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The second phase for the ecological protection and restoration of Sanjiangyuan was officially launched on Friday.

According to the protection plan, the restoration area will be expanded to 395,000 sq km, or 54.6 percent of the total area of Qinghai.

Although the first stage has brought remarkable improvements, the overall ecological degradation of the area has not been fundamentally curbed, said Du Ying, vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission.

The second phase will involve protecting the environment, improving people\’s livelihoods and achieving coordinated economic, social and cultural development, said Li Xiaonan, a Qinghai official for the Sanjiangyuan project.

With an average altitude of 4,000 meters, the Sanjiangyuan region has long been a paradise for herders, rare wild animals such as the Tibetan antelope and medicinal herbs like the Tibetan snow lotus.

via China invests 2.6 bln USD to protect major riverheads – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

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10/01/2014

Urban renewal (1): New frontiers | The Economist

THE furniture market in Foshan claims to be the biggest in the world. It boasts a bewildering mix of things to sit on, sleep in and eat at. One shop, named the “Louvre”, offers a range of styles from neoclassical to postmodern, which an assistant defines as a cross between European and modern, suitable for “successful people”.

The market, which sprawls over 3m square metres (32m square feet), showcases the manufacturing powers of Foshan, a city of 7m people in the southern province of Guangdong. The city is an archipelago of industrial clusters, dedicated to furniture, textiles, appliances, ceramics and the equipment required to make them. These clusters have produced some of China’s most successful private firms, such as Midea, a maker of household appliances, which began as a bottle-lid workshop, and now employs 135,000 people, generating over $16 billion in revenue in 2012.

Many economists worry that China will succumb to a “middle-income trap”, failing to make the jump from an early stage of growth, based on cheap labour and brute capital accumulation, to a more sophisticated stage, based on educated workers and improvements in productivity. But no economy, let alone one the size of China’s, moves in lockstep from one growth model to another. Some regions always outpace others. Provinces like Gansu, in China’s north-west, are still struggling to wean themselves off state-owned mines and smokestacks (see article). Other parts of China’s economy are already comfortably high-income, according to the World Bank’s definition. For example, Foshan’s GDP per head was almost $15,000 in 2012, higher than in some member states of the European Union.

Foshan best represents China’s “emerging economic frontier”, according to the Fung Global Institute (FGI), a think-tank in Hong Kong. With the help of researchers from the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s planning agency, the institute is studying Foshan for clues about the rest of the economy’s future.

Foshan’s example is relevant to other parts of China, it argues. Unlike the nearby metropolis of Shenzhen, it was never a special economic zone. Unlike neighbouring Guangzhou, it is not a provincial capital. It also shares many of the country’s growing pains. Lacking oil and coal, it is prone to electricity shortages. It is heavily polluted and highly indebted: its government pays 47% of its tax revenues on servicing its liabilities. Wages are going up, land is running out, and growth is slowing down. To tackle such problems, China’s Communist Party endorsed a long list of bold reforms at its long-awaited “third plenum” in November. Economists welcomed the list even as they worried that officials would fail to implement it. But in China, implementation is often a process of gradual diffusion not abrupt transition. Some of the principles proposed by the plenum are already in practice in Foshan. Some may have been inspired by it.

The third plenum resolved that the market should play a “decisive” role in the allocation of resources. In Foshan it already does. In the early 1990s Shunde, one of the city’s districts, pioneered the sale of government-backed enterprises to their managers, workers and outside investors. Foshan now has about one private enterprise for every 20 residents. In 2012 they grew twice as fast as the remaining state-owned firms.

November’s party plenum also called for private capital to play a bigger role in public infrastructure. In Foshan over the past nine years the government has allowed private firms to bid for over 500 projects, including power generation, water plants, and rubbish-incineration plants, according to Liu Yuelun, the city’s mayor. Ahead of the party’s call to consolidate the state bureaucracy, Shunde district had already slashed the number of its departments from 41 to 16.

Another national aim is to unify parts of China’s land market, allowing rural land to be leased on similar terms to state-owned urban plots. In the 1980s Foshan had already created a shadow market in communal land, which villagers leased to budding industrialists, contrary to national law that reserved such land for rural purposes. Because these land rights were technically illegal, many big firms eschewed them. But that made them all the cheaper for scrappy, small firms willing to live in the legal shadows. This grey market allowed Foshan’s industrial clusters to grow organically, according to economic logic rather than arbitrary land laws, argues the FGI. It also allowed villagers to reap some of the gains of Foshan’s industrial transformation. By 2010, the FGI calculates, the average Foshan resident owned property worth almost $50,000.

via Urban renewal (1): New frontiers | The Economist.

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11/12/2013

China cuts more red tape, paves way for NDRC slim-down | Reuters

China has stripped dozens of powers away from central government ministries as it bids to cut red tape and prevent Beijing\’s army of bureaucrats from micromanaging the world\’s second-largest economy.

Paramilitary policemen stand in formation as they pay tribute to the Monument to the People's Heroes on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, November 17, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

China\’s cabinet, the State Council, announced on Tuesday that it was removing 82 powers from a number of central government ministries, including the powerful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

In a series of sweeping reforms published in November, China\’s ruling Communist Party promised to free up the market by simplifying administration and \”restrict central government management of microeconomic issues to the greatest possible extent\”.

via China cuts more red tape, paves way for NDRC slim-down | Reuters.

07/12/2013

Commentary: China must find unique way to build ecological civilization – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China must find a way different from the industrialization in the West to build ecological civilization and realize sustainable development, which concerns the future of both the nation and the world.

After solving the food and clothing problems of its 1.3 billion people, the world\’s second-largest economy has encountered a bottleneck as its fast growth has led to adverse side effects for the ecological environment.

How to curb environmental pollution is a totally new issue for China, as it has no precedents to follow.

China cannot copy the industrialization in Western countries, who did not turn to environment management until they became rich and transferred their highly polluting sectors to developing countries.

The environmental problems faced by China happened over a short period of 30 years, while it took industrialized countries more than two centuries to resolve the issue.

\”China cannot be like developed countries, whose peak carbon emissions appeared when gross domestic product (GDP) per capita hit 40,000 U.S. dollars,\” said Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China\’s National Development and Reform Commission.

He said China started to adopt measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions when its GDP per capita reached 3,000 dollars.

Besides, factors such as the international division of labor led to China receiving many polluting industries from developed countries. Few chances remain for China to transfer these sectors abroad.

With the coexistence of insufficient development and accompanying side effects, tackling pollution in China and many other developing countries requires more determination and courage than required of developed countries.

In China, building ecological civilization has been elevated to a high level of state will and strategy.

At the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2007, then Chinese President Hu Jintao advocated ecological progress for the first time in his report.

The 18th CPC National Congress in 2012 incorporated building ecological civilization into the overall development plan, while the just-concluded Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee made clear arrangements for deepening the institutional reform of ecological civilization.

via Commentary: China must find unique way to build ecological civilization – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

19/11/2013

China: Post-plenum blues?

keeper @ chindia-alert:

A well thought through analysis, in my opinion.

Originally posted on China Daily Mail:

BD1DD132-077D-4224-8230-E4D735F84FCE_mw1024_n_sThe third plenum of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) central committee, which concluded on November 12th, has left many observers disappointed. After months of efforts by the senior leadership to promote the meeting as a major reform landmark, its final report came as something of a let-down. However, it was broadly in line with The Economist Intelligence Unit’s very modest expectations. We continue to believe that the government’s proposals are too tame and that its approach, especially its refusal to contemplate political reform, remains too conservative.

The plenum confirmed that the CCP leadership is moving towards a new approach when it comes to the government’s management of the economy. The main element of this strategy seems to be a shift away from direct state intervention in the economy towards more indirect forms of influence – but without substantial loss of control over economic affairs. The communiqué released at the…

View original 1,153 more words

31/07/2013

China to invest $375 billion on energy conservation, pollution: paper

Reuters: “China plans to invest 2.3 trillion yuan ($375 billion) in energy saving and emission-reduction projects in the five years through 2015 to clean up its environment, the China Daily newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a senior government official.

The plan, which has been approved by the State Council, is on top of a 1.85 trillion yuan investment in the renewable energy sector, underscoring the government’s concerns about addressing a key source of social discontent.

China has set a target of reducing its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level, and raising non-fossil energy consumption to 15 percent of its energy mix, Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), was quoted as saying.

As part of broader plans to curb pollution, the government will also roll out tiered power pricing for eight energy intensive industries, while sectors that struggle with overcapacity will face higher power tariffs, Xie said.

The government will also gradually expand a carbon trading pilot program to more cities starting from 2015, with the aim of creating a national market, he said.

Seven cities and provinces, including Shanghai, were ordered by the NDRC in late 2011 to set up regional carbon trading markets.”

via China to invest $375 billion on energy conservation, pollution: paper | Reuters.

See also: http://chindia-alert.org/economic-factors/greening-of-china/

24/07/2013

Consumer optimism hits a high

China Daily: “Income growth and willingness to spend more are main driving forces

Consumer confidence in China has topped that in other major economies to equal a record high, and economists are saying this signals that consumption will support the world’s second-largest economy, where growth is slowing.

A survey by global information company Nielsen shows China’s consumer confidence index, based on its market research, rose to 110 in the second quarter from 108 in the first, indicating increased willingness to spend on consumer goods and services.

It also reached 110 in the second quarter of last year.

Zhang Monan, an economist at the State Information Center under the National Development and Reform Commission, said domestic demand, especially consumption, will become crucial to supporting economic growth in the second half of the year.

Tao Libao, vice-president of media research at Nielsen Greater China, said, “With the industrial transformation, consumption will become the growth engine.”

The central government has pledged to promote structural reforms, shifting from investment-driven to consumption-oriented development, while ensuring stable economic growth and secure employment.

The Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index, released on Tuesday, rose to 94 in the second quarter, compared with 93 in the first.

A reading below 100 means that consumers are pessimistic about the outlook, while a reading above 100 signals optimistic expectations.

Nielsen said consumer confidence declined in 14 of 29 European countries as government budget cuts, tax rises and high unemployment continued.

Consumer confidence improved in the United States, along with increasing employment opportunities, higher home prices and a rising stock market, the company said.

In the second quarter, China had the fifth-highest reading of indices among 58 countries based on surveys covering more than 29,000 global respondents.

Fast growth of disposable income and people’s willingness to spend more on improving quality of life, especially in large cities, was the main driving force behind this, the company said.

The average disposable income of urban Chinese residents was 13,649 yuan ($2,201) in the first half of the year, up 9.1 percent from a year earlier, while the disposable income of rural residents rose to 4,171 yuan, up 13 percent year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Retail sales of consumer goods rose by 12.7 percent in the first six months to 11.08 trillion yuan, compared with a 12.4 percent growth rate in the first quarter, the bureau said.

Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, with 7 percent of China’s population, contributed about 25 percent of the country’s spending on consumer products and services, Nielsen said.

As urbanization speeds up and consumers pursue a better quality of life, they will have a deeper understanding of consumption, said Yan Xuan, president of Nielsen Greater China.”

via Consumer optimism hits a high |Economy |chinadaily.com.cn.

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