Employment promotion plan and poverty aid
The State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Jan 18 passed an employment promotion plan for the 13th Five-Year Plan period. They also decided to continue efforts to ensure basic living standards for people in poverty.
Five-year plan on education
China will promote education during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), according to a circular issued by the State Council on Jan 19.
The document pinpointed major tasks that will be undertaken throughout the five years, focusing on quality for students, innovative and balanced development, creating a favorable campus and social environment, international cooperation, teacher quality and cultivating talent and government and policy support.
The plan encourages the cultivation of students’ entrepreneurial and innovation capabilities and practical skills. It also emphasized the need to strengthen exam and recruitment reforms, promote higher education, develop internet plus education, and promote and regulate private education.
Encouraging more social support for education
The State Council has released guidelines on promoting private education while encouraging more social support for education.
The move is aimed at further boosting the role of private education with the support of society.
Policies proposed in the document include different management approaches for private schools under the categories of profit-oriented and nonprofit, enhancing government financial support, providing further incentives for private education and speeding up the modernization process of private school systems.
New plan to boost foreign investment
The State Council issued a circular that lays out measures to boost foreign investment, as part of an effort to build “a new open economic system” in China.
It encouraged foreign investment to take part in China’s innovation-driven development strategy and manufacturing sector upgrades, and encouraged foreign talent to start businesses in China.
The circular said the “Made-in-China 2025” initiative also applies to foreign-invested enterprises, while also explaining foreign-invested enterprises should gain equal access in participating in China’s standardization reform to enhance the openness and transparency of the country’s investment environment.
Changes of fees charged for State-owned natural resources
China will change the way fees are charged for State-owned natural resources, under a guideline issued by the State Council on Jan 16.
The guideline is aimed at enhancing the market’s role in allocating resources while the government focuses on service regulation to protect the legal rights of owners and users while protecting and exploiting natural resources more effectively.
Professional licenses cut
The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security released a plan to further reduce and regulate the number of professional licenses.
The remaining 184 professional qualifications should be further sorted out and cancelled, except those concerning national security, public safety and people’s personal and property security, according to the plan.
First guideline on improving mental health
Mental health education and awareness will be popularized and promoted across China by 2020, according to the country’s first government guideline aimed at promoting psychological well-being, which was released on Jan 19.
Various measures are expected to provide Chinese with better access to mental health services and improve the general level of mental health by 2030, according to the guideline, released by 22 ministries and ministerial-level departments led by the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
More welfare facilities during 2016-2020
China will build more welfare facilities to provide care services for juveniles in need, including “left behind” children, the top economic planner said on Jan 17.
In the next five years, more child care facilities will be established in areas with populations over 500,000, according to the 2016-2020 plan on improving social welfare released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Reform on medical expenses payments
The National Development and Reform Commission, the National Health and Family Planning Commission and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security released a joint statement determining the amount of expenses that can be charged to treat 320 diseases.
The statement urged local hospitals to further increase the number of diseases treated and help promote the work.
Lifelong accountability system to control soil pollution
The Ministry of Environmental Protection issued a guideline for managing contaminated land, setting up a lifelong accountability system for polluters to manage and restore contaminated land.
Before turning contaminated land into residences or other public facilities like businesses and schools, land users should treat and restore the land first, according to the ministry.
The restoration will be subject to third-party assessment and related information should be open to the public for no less than two months.
Five-year plan on spreading standard Chinese
The Ministry of Education and the State Language Commission recently issued a five-year plan on promoting the national spread of standard Chinese.
It clearly urged efforts to improve the standard language levels in rural areas, increase the spread of the standard language in ethnic minority areas and make the use of language more standardized.
It also stressed satisfying the language needs of special groups and expanding international exchanges and communications of standard Chinese.