Posts tagged ‘State Council’

02/08/2015

China to expand medical insurance for major illnesses | Reuters

China will expand medical insurance to cover all critical illnesses for all urban and rural residents by the end of the year, the cabinet said on Sunday, the latest step in a plan to fix a healthcare system that has sparked public discontent.

The State Council said 50 percent of the medical costs will be covered by insurance in a bid to “more effectively reduce the burden of medical expenses”, in a statement posted on the government’s website.

President Xi Jinping‘s government has touted access to affordable healthcare as a key platform of his administration, underscoring the importance of meeting the needs of the nearly 1.4 billion people, many of whom have often complained of large out-of-pocket expenses due to low levels of insurance coverage.

Many people say the cost of serious illnesses such as cancer and diabetes can bankrupt households under the current system.

The aim of expanding health insurance was to “effectively alleviate poverty caused by illness” and to build a strong universal healthcare system, the State Council said.

Since 2009, China has spent 3 trillion yuan ($480 billion) on healthcare reform, but the system still struggles with a scarcity of doctors, attacks by patients on medical staff and a fragmented drug distribution and retail market.

Economists say it is crucial for China to improve the quality of its healthcare if it wishes to remake its economy and boost domestic consumption. They say a stronger safety net will encourage Chinese to spend more and save less.

China’s healthcare spending is set to hit $1 trillion by 2020, up from $357 billion in 2011, according to McKinsey & Co, attracting a rapid inflow of money from private insurers, hospital operators and other investors.

via China to expand medical insurance for major illnesses | Reuters.

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05/03/2015

China’s nuclear plant plans get new momentum – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn

State Council gives green light for two reactors at Hongyan River in Liaoning

China's nuclear plant plans get new momentum

China’s nuclear energy development plans got a fresh impetus on Wednesday after the State Council gave the green light for new reactors at the Hongyan River nuclear power plant.

According to industry sources, units 5 and 6 of the Hongyan River nuclear plant in the northeastern Liaoning province got construction approval from the State Council before the Lunar New Year.

“It is a big step forward for China to revive the industry and more nuclear projects are expected to start construction this year. However, the official documents are yet to be finalized,” a source in a State-owned nuclear company told China Daily.

New nuclear projects are also in the pipeline, the source said, adding that the moves would help optimize China’s energy mix amid mounting pressure from air pollution.

Tang Bo, an official at the National Nuclear Safety Administration, said earlier that the regulatory body has been working on the environmental impact assessment and safety inspection of nuclear projects including the Hongyan River nuclear project, the Shidao Bay nuclear demonstration project in Shandong province and units 5 and 6 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in Fujian province.

“We have drawn up a draft list of new projects for final approval,” he told China Daily earlier. “Our job is to clear the potential risks and help with the technical preparation of the nuclear sites before the government’s final approval,” he said.

Following the Hongyan River nuclear project, units 5 and 6 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant are the next possible candidates for approval, experts said.

“The Fuqing nuclear project will possibly get the nod from the government in April at the earliest,” the source said.

The equipment purchase order for units 5 and 6 of the Fujing nuclear power plant, which uses the Hualong One reactor design, known as the third-generation nuclear technology, is nearly complete, the source said.

China, with the world’s largest number of nuclear power plants under construction, is now pushing ahead to embark on a program of new nuclear projects to reduce the proportion of fossil fuels in its primary energy consumption.

Last year, the State Council rolled out an energy plan to have a more efficient, self-sufficient, green and innovative energy production and consumption mechanism.

The plan targets to have 58 gigawatts of nuclear power in operation by 2020 and at least 30 gW under construction. To meet that target, China needs to add at least another 10 gW of installed capacity with approval of six to eight reactors each year, according to estimates from industry experts.

After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, China suspended approval for nuclear plants in order to revise its safety standards. However, it lifted the ban on new nuclear power stations at the end of 2012, and said it would only approve projects proposed for coastal areas within 2015.

via China’s nuclear plant plans get new momentum – Business – Chinadaily.com.cn.

14/02/2015

China surpasses affordable houses targets – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China completed the building of 5.11 million affordable houses in urban areas in 2014, with 2.29 million such projects under way, surpassing the goals set at the beginning of the year, the State Council announced at a press briefing on Friday.

The central government granted 198 billion yuan (32.35 billion U.S. dollars) to fund urban affordable housing projects in 2014, an increase of 25.1 billion yuan from the previous year, according to Qi Ji, deputy head of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-rural Development.

Throughout the past four years, more than 20 million affordable houses were completed, with 12 million under construction, and the assistance fund for building the houses has reached 710 billion yuan, according to Qi.

China has set goals to construct 36 million affordable houses, also called state-subsidized housing, public housing, or social housing, between the start of 2011 and the end of 2015.

“This year is the final year of the Twelfth Five-Year plan (2011-2015), and the government will accelerate the affordable housing project with a focus on transforming the shanty towns,” Qi said.

The Chinese government has been rolling out an affordable housing scheme since 2007, in an effort to provide homes to people unable to buy them at market prices. The efforts are also aimed at helping counter the slowdown in the property market in recent years.

via China surpasses affordable houses targets – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

29/01/2015

China eyes mass innovation, entrepreneurship as new engine – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China’s State Council pledged to take various steps to create an amicable environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in order to power growth and generate jobs.

China should embrace the trend of mass entrepreneurship and innovation in the Internet age, a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang said.

The statement said China will foster a platform offering low-cost services in a variety of areas to micro businesses and individual start-ups that show innovation.

The government will also step up policy support, such as simplifying registration procedures and giving subsidies, to innovative businesses. They will improve financing systems to give special support to start-up companies, according to the statement.

Although China’s broader economy is slowing, China’s young entrepreneurs are driving a wave of startups that has become a bright spot for the economic landscape and an important engine for future growth.

The number of newly founded companies in China surged almost 46 percent year on year to 3.65 million in 2014, the latest data showed.

via China eyes mass innovation, entrepreneurship as new engine – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

20/09/2014

China approves plan to combat climate change – China – Chinadaily.com.cn

The Chinese central government on Friday approved a plan that maps out major climate change goals to be met by 2020.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, gave a green light to the plan, which was proposed by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s economic planner. A statement released on the State Council’s website urged the NDRC to carry out the plan.

China has pledged to reduce its carbon emission intensity, namely emissions per unit of GDP, by 40 percent to 45 percent by 2020 from the 2005 level. It will also aim to bring the proportion of non-fossil fuels to about 15 percent of its total primary energy consumption.

Other targets include increasing forest coverage by 40 million hectares within the next five years.

The government will speed up efforts to establish a carbon emission permit market, under the plan, which also calls for deepened international cooperation under the principles of “common but differentiated responsibilities,” equity and respective capability.

The State Council said local governments and departments at all levels should recognize the significance and urgency in dealing with climate change and give higher priority to action on this issue.

China’s release of the action plan came just before a climate summit to be held at UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday. Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli will attend.

Xie Zhenhua, deputy chief of the NDRC and the country’s top official on climate change, told a press conference that the plan was concrete action by China to participate in the global process to tackle climate change.

By the end of last year, China had reduced carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 28.56 percent from 2005, which was equivalent to saving the world 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, Xie said.

At the end of 2013, China’s consumption ratio of non-fossil energy to primary energy stood at 9.8 percent. Forest growing stock had increased by 1.3 trillion cubic meters from 2005 to two trillion cubic meters, seven years ahead of schedule, according to the official.

In the first nine months of 2014, China’s energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped by 4.2 percent year on year and carbon intensity was cut by about 5 percent, both representing the largest drops in years, he said.

As a developing country, China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter. With the plan, the country has showed its confidence in achieving its green goals.

via China approves plan to combat climate change – China – Chinadaily.com.cn.

30/07/2014

China Focus: Hukou reforms to help 100 mln Chinese – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China plans to help about 100 million people without urban ID records to settle in towns and cities by 2020, as part of reforms to phase out its dual-household registration system, the State Council, China’s cabinet, said on Wednesday.

It issued a circular aimed at accelerating reform of the nation’s household registration, or “hukou,” system.

The document said the government will remove the limits on hukou registration in townships and small cities, relax restrictions in medium-sized cities, and set qualifications for registration in big cities.

The rights and benefits of residents who do not have urban ID records in the city where they live should be safeguarded, the document added.

At a press conference on Wednesday, vice public security minister Huang Ming said different approaches will be applied in the hukou system, based on the size and population of a city.

Authorities will set no limits for those who want to settle in small cities and towns. “Anyone who has a legal residence can register for permanent residence, even temporary tenants,” Huang said.

Medium-sized cities with a population between one million and three million will have a low threshold, while megacities with more than five million residents will try to strictly control the influx of new citizens.

People wishing to settle in megacities like Beijing and Shanghai will have to qualify through a “points system” based on their seniority in employment, their accommodation and social security, according to Huang.

Megacities “face a lot population pressure, with an annual floating population of hundreds of thousands,” the official said.

via China Focus: Hukou reforms to help 100 mln Chinese – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

27/06/2014

Frugality bites as China curbs construction of government buildings | Reuters

China plans to curb construction of unapproved government buildings, amid a national campaign against wasteful spending and graft, according to an updated draft regulation published by the State Council, the country’s cabinet.

The Communist Party has been eager to project a frugal image since Xi Jinping became president last year, renewing efforts to stamp out corruption and win back public confidence after an endless series of scandals involving high-living officials.

Under the draft laws, any construction of government offices must be accompanied by feasibility reports and design blueprints, and will require official approvals before construction can begin, state news agency Xinhua reported on Thursday, citing the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council.

“Buildings with reception functions such as accommodation, meetings and banquets, including those in the name of ‘training centers,’ are off limits,” it said.

The regulation will also ban any form of loans from financial institutes, sponsorships and fund-raising for unapproved construction projects.

via Frugality bites as China curbs construction of government buildings | Reuters.

24/03/2014

China Cracks Down on Ghost City Monoliths – Businessweek

China is getting serious about reining in at least one aspect of its ghost cities—the monolithic work palaces built for civil servants. On March 19, the central government announced it has investigated 147 officials and punished 55 for violating a five-year ban, imposed last July, on construction of all new government buildings.

An empty apartment building construction project in Ordos city, Inner Mongolia, China

“The malpractice of constructing new government buildings should be exposed. Departments and individuals should never cover or shield the malpractice,” said the State Council in its statement. “Precious funds should be used for safeguarding and improving the people’s well-being,” the statement said, as reported by the official Xinhua News Agency.

The ban has at least two purposes. One is to compel local governments to spend state funds more wisely, as concerns about growing levels of debt are mounting. China’s National Development and Reform Commission last year announced that 144 cities in 12 provinces were planning to build more than 200 new towns.

STORY: Breaking Through China’s Great Firewall

A Feb. 20 analysis by Beijing economic consultancy Gavekal Dragonomics showed that by 2011, 45 percent of all investment in China was channeled into “stagnant or loser prefectures,”—defined as those with little or negative population growth.

“Empty towns and ghost cities are redundant constructions that do not generate much economic benefit. They are a huge waste of resources which pile debt pressure onto local governments,” editorialized the People’s Daily last year.

The ban is also part of President Xi Jinping’s effort to curb ostentatious behavior by government officials and crack down on graft. The aim is “to promote a national frugality campaign and curb official’s appropriation of public funds,” explained Xinhua.

via China Cracks Down on Ghost City Monoliths – Businessweek.

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08/02/2014

* China increasing coverage of serious illness insurance – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China will expand a program that enables people with serious illnesses to get more compensation from medical insurance schemes to all the country’s regions in 2014.

According to a statement issued by the State Council medical reform office on Saturday, pilots of such programs should be launched in all the country’s provincial-level regions by the end of June this year.

The new move is aimed at reducing the number of cases in which people are reduced to poverty by the burden of medical fees, the statement said.

Six Chinese authorities issued a circular in 2012 on the program, stating that part of the funds collected in the current basic medicare insurance schemes for urban and rural residents could be used to purchase commercial medical insurance, so that a greater proportion of the medical fees of people with serious diseases will be covered.

A latest circular issued by the medical reform office said that local finance, human resources and social security, civil affairs, health and insurance authorities should collaborate for the expansion of the program, according to Saturday’s statement.

There should be more efforts to raise public awareness of the program so as to make the benefits easier for people to secure, it said.

The statement added that the quality and the expenditure of medical services should also be scrutinized to curb unreasonable medical treatments and fees.

via China increasing coverage of serious illness insurance – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

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28/12/2013

Li drops in to help realize home dream|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn

For Li Zongyi, 77, an unexpected visitor to her home has realized her decades-long dream.

The guest was Premier Li Keqiang. During a one-day trip to Tianjin on Friday, he paid a surprising visit to Li Zongyi\’s home in the Xiyuzhuang community, one of the oldest shantytowns in the city, and promised residents that they will be able to move into new apartments in the next year.

Han Huixia, Li Zongyi\’s daughter, said: \”I have been waiting for this moment for so long. I dare not burn coal to keep warm in winter, in case there is a gas leak or a fire.\”

Like families in the Xiyuzhuang community, hundreds of millions of residents in shantytowns nationwide are expected to move into new apartments, analysts said, as the country pushes ahead with renovation projects for these areas.

Huang Xiaohu, a researcher at a consultancy center affiliated to the Ministry of Land and Resources, said the renovation of some shanty areas can be very difficult, due to the complexity of the local population, a lack of financial support, and disagreements among residents on the relocation plan.

The Xiyuzhuang community, covering 64 hectares and with low-income residents comprising 20 percent of its households, is a typical case, Huang said, as the cost of compensation is too high.

\”The only way out in this case is to let the government play the dominant role and provide residents with low-cost houses, instead of costly commercial apartments,\” he said.

A State Council meeting in June pledged to improve housing conditions for the underprivileged and to promote urbanization by accelerating shantytown reform.

Urbanization will also be pushed for another 100 million people living in the country\’s less developed western areas.

To achieve the target, the government will encourage private capital and enterprises to invest in the shantytown transformation, and will allow local authorities to use corporate bonds to solve the financing problem.

As of 2013, China has solved the housing problems of 2.18 million households living in shantytown areas and embarked on projects that could solve such problems for another 3.23 million households, 6 percent higher than planned.

Tao Ran, a professor at Renmin University of China, said the government has looked to the resettlement of residents in shanty areas to be one of its key economic drives in coming years.

But some fundamental work should be addressed before any steps are taken, he said.

Tao suggested that a universal guideline be introduced for local governments to follow during demolition of homes to avoid misconduct and conflicts.

via Li drops in to help realize home dream|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn.

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