Over the past week, a number of ministries, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Water Resources, answered questions from the public concerning a variety of topics. These covered the canceling of internet accounts on mobile facilities and the government’s new guideline on lake responsibility mechanisms.
Online registration concerns
A man named Xia Feng complained to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology that currently many websites require people’s registration to view more comprehensive information, but he found once registered, people were unable to cancel, remove or log out of their registration on these websites. Some of these websites are registered with people’s mobile phone numbers. Xia said the ministry should pay attention to such problems as this may cause personal information to be leaked.
The MIIT replied that according to the cybersecurity law, telecommunication business operators are not allowed to use or collect citizen’s personal information without consent, and citizens have the right to stop or correct internet operators from using such information. It also said that according to the law, telecommunication service providers as well as internet services operators should also provide services for citizens to cancel and log out from their accounts.
Good progress on poverty alleviation
China has reduced poverty by more than two-thirds over the past five years, an official with the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development said at a news conference on Jan 5.
Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, said there were about 30 million Chinese living below the national poverty line at the end of last year, compared with 98.99 million in 2012. China is aiming to eliminate absolute poverty by 2020 in a bid to create a “moderately prosperous society”.
Liu said that decisive progress has been made. With 28 counties casting off poverty in 2016, China shortened its list of poorest counties for the first time in more than 30 years, Liu said, predicting the number would rise to about 100 in 2017. A county can be removed from the list if no more than 2 percent of its residents earn less than 2,300 yuan ($350) at 2010 prices. In western regions, the threshold is 3 percent.
But Liu said that the task was still arduous, saying “to lift the remaining 30 percent of poor people out of poverty will be the toughest”.
Policy makers have listed poverty alleviation as one of China’s “three tough battles” for the next three years, along with risk prevention and pollution control.
Lake chief’s responsibility will continue
Officials from the provincial level to townships who oversee lakes in their area will still be held responsible long after their tenure if environmental problems originated during their watch, Zhou Xuewen, vice-minister of water resources, told a news conference on Jan 5.
Zhou said this lifelong accountability system will be instituted across China as general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council rolled out a “lake chief” system, with government heads overseeing protection of lakes in their jurisdictions in December.
Heads of provincial governments will work as chiefs of major lakes in their region and the ones that cross provincial regions. City government leaders will serve as chiefs of lakes that cross different counties. The top chiefs in a provincial region will be responsible for drafting protection tasks, tailoring protection measures for different lakes and clarifying the responsibilities for chiefs at all levels, according to the guideline.