The State Council, China’s Cabinet, and its ministries have responded to a series of concerns from media outlets as well as the public.
On May 8, the State Council Information Office held a news conference attended by leading figures from the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission and six central State-owned enterprises. They highlighted how these central SOEs will participate in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Belt and Road
Xiao Yaqing, head of the commission, said that 47 central SOEs have invested in or participated in 1,676 programs with the economies involved in the initiative. These enterprises have boosted the local economy of the countries and regions, as well as accumulating valuable experience for Chinese SOEs to conduct business overseas.
He also said that the central SOEs that participate in the initiative have been fully in accordance with local cultures and laws. By paying attention to environmental protection, job creation and public interest, these SOEs have received a warm welcome from the participating economies.
Wang Dongjin, head of China National Petroleum Corp, said that CNPC had fully considered the concerns of the participating economies when running projects overseas. Their investment in public welfare has covered all related countries, and the number of people who directly benefited exceeds 2 million. In Kazakhstan, the CNPC is a stakeholder in Aktobe Munai Gaz, and the company created more than 30,000 jobs for locals.
Liu Qitao, board chairman of China Communications Construction, said that CCC always benefits local people in its projects. The CCC has constructed a railway, to be opened this month, that will link Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, to its biggest port, Mombasa. The 480-kilometer-long railway created over 37,000 jobs for locals, and they have followed global standards on animal protection and environmental protection in the construction process.
On May 11, the National Health and Family Planning Commission held a news conference to highlight progress in medical reform.
Liang Wannian, head of the commission’s department of reform, said they will propel reforms in the grading of medical treatment, introducing a modern governance mode for domestic hospitals, and further improve medical insurance.
Answering a question from people.com.cn about the budget, he said that the 2017 national medical expense budget is 1.4 trillion yuan ($203.6 billion), which is 4.4 times that for 2008. More importantly, medical expenses now account for 7.2 percent of the national budget, compared with the 5 percent for 2008.
The National Development and Reform Commission has a message board on its official website. A netizen asked: “Currently, China is paving the way for its companies to go global. Is it necessary to regulate the domestic market first? For example, cut out the manufacturing of fake goods and those who illegally advertise their products?”
Wang Dong, a senior official from the NDRC, answered that a regulated domestic market is a prerequisite of making Chinese brands competitive enough to go overseas. “Fake goods have always been a problem: They ruin our national brands, violate the legal rights of consumers, and create chaos in the market,” he said.
On May 9, the State Council sent an inspection group to Beijing municipal government to examine their simplifying of administrative procedures and improving services.
Zhang Gong, vice-mayor of Beijing, said that they had taken a series of innovative measures for that purpose.