Novel products see opportunity as China upgrades consumption

A futuristic fingerprint lock, software that allows you to unlock your car doors and turn on the AC using your phone, and an intelligent vacuum cleaner… China’s consumption upgrading is driving up a new commerce pattern, with novel products sweeping the Chinese domestic market.

The country has maintained stable and rapid growth in the total retail sales of consumer goods, and consumption has become the most significant driving force of the country’s economic growth for a number of years.

Novel products with new functions and technologies are enriching the supply of the market, enjoying massive popularity among consumers.

According to a report issued by Ali Research Institute under Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, over 75 million consumers on Alibaba’s shopping site T-mall were enthusiastic about novel products, with an average of 17 purchases per person in this category.

Last year, more than 50 million novel products were made available on T-mall, 10 times more than in 2016.

Statistics from Alibaba’s rival Suning also indicated the popularity of novel products. For instance, a smart drier rack that can also sterilize has been sold by over 150 Suning stores, with a monthly sales growth of 300 percent.

The enthusiasm for new products is not exclusive to consumers from first-tier cities. In 2018, over 200,000 major brands released 50 million new products on T-mall, and those living in second-, third- and fourth-tier cities made up nearly 80 percent of total sales.

“New products might mean a large concept, but small innovations usually create huge energy when applied to individual products,” said Fu Yifu, senior researcher from Suning Institute of Finance.

Given the diversified and individualized consumption demands of the Chinese market, opportunities exist everywhere as long as enterprises can find the consumer pain points, Fu added.

China sees high-quality development of digital economy

A 5G-tech promotion stand at the recent China International Import Expo in Shanghai. [Photo by Jin Rong/For China Daily]

According to experts, China’s digital economy is moving into a period of high-quality development as it expands in size, thanks to the rapid growth of innovation in investment, as well as the accelerated construction of new information infrastructures such as 5G technology and industrial internet.

China’s digital economy has grown into a major arena of high-quality development. According to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), the value of China’s digital economy surged from less than 150 billion yuan ($22.3 billion) in 2002 to 31 trillion yuan in 2018, growing 208 times in 16 years. The compound annual growth of 38 percent is far higher than the GDP growth.

This year, multiple regions of China have issued plans and guidance on digital economy development. Sun Ke, director of the CAICT Digital Economy Research Institute, noted that digital economy development in China features rapid growth, strong impetus, large scale and optimized structure, adding that the next few years would be a critical period for the digital sector.

CAICT statistics indicated that China spent 1.2 trillion yuan on the research and development of the digital economy in 2017, twice the amount of that in 2011.

According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, information infrastructure construction is a major focus this year. Previously, the National Development and Reform Commission also said that the department would enhance the development of artificial intelligence, industrial internet, and the Internet of things in 2019.

China currently has 1.31 billion broadband users, and 98.6 percent of its citizens are mobile internet users. It has laid a solid foundation for the future progress of China’s digital economy.

In such a competitive environment, the expansion of mobile internet and broader penetration of internet would gradually create new bonuses for regional digital economy development, said An Hui, deputy chief engineer of the China Center for Information Industry Development.

Have you ever wondered why China builds high-speed railway tracks on bridges?

(Photo/Xinhua)

China is home to 29,000 kilometers of high-speed railway, which has created comfort and convenience for a huge number of passengers.

However, have you ever wondered why most high-speed railway tracks are built on bridges?

Su Wei, the chief engineer of the bridge department under China Railway Design Corporation, recently explained the country’s preference for bridges during the construction of high-speed rail in an interview with Economic Daily.

Bridges account for 88 percent of the mileage of China’s first 350 km/h high-speed rail, and also 86.5 percent of the Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Railway.

Su explained that high-speed railway bridges make sure railway operation is safe, smooth and stable.

Bridges have a considerable advantage in the fact that they occupy much less ground space than subgrade engineering, Su said, adding that China constructed substantial bridges for high-speed rail in the plains to replace subgrade projects – a standard method in common railway lines.

According to Su, bridges are vital in developed regions that are densely populated, as they can save 2.9 hectares of land per kilometer extended.

Additionally, high-speed rail has a high standard for operational conditions, so they must bypass immovable barriers such as buildings. By building bridges, the railway can avoid such areas and lower the space division of cities.

“Now, bridges are often pre-engineered and prefabricated in factories and then transported to construction sites, which helps achieve better quality control and reduces the construction period,” Su noted.

Take a look at China’s “greenest” province

Wuyishan National Park (Photo/Huang Hai)

March 21 marks the International Day of Forests. So today let’s take a look at the forests in China’s “greenest” province.

According to the ninth national check of forest resources, Fujian has ranked first in terms of forest coverage among all Chinese provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions for 40 years. Forests now cover 66.8 percent of the province’s territory.

As China continues its efforts in ecological protection and forestation, Fujian will continue to see a growing percentage of forest coverage, meaning more beautiful scenery is to come.

Wuyishan National Park (Photo/Huang Hai)

Meihuashan Nature Reserve (Photo/Huang Hai)

A forest in  the city of Nanping (Photo/Huang Hai)

Automation improves efficiency for Chinese ports, promotes high-quality development

Automation is turning China’s Port of Qingdao, Shandong Province into an “unmanned terminal”, reducing the pressure on human labor and contributing to high-quality development of the country.

Photo taken on Mar.18, 2019 shows the Huangdao oil terminal and Qianwan ore terminal at the Port of Qingdao and the streets in Qingdao West Coast New Area beside the two terminals. (Photo/People’s Daily Online)

A few years ago, when Wang Yang, a young bridge crane operator started his career in the Port of Qingdao, his daily routine was lifting cargos up and down in a bridge crane 40 meters above the ground. He had to lower his head for a dozen hours each day for operation.

What he endured back then was not only the sweats, but also the loneliness in the operation room that covered less than 3 square meters.

“When can we work with our heads up?” That has been a dream for generations of workers like Wang.

Finally, the dream came true for Wang and his colleagues today. Now the Port of Qingdao has established a fully automated container terminal, where the previous bridge crane operators have turned into “remote monitoring personnel”.

The fully automated Qingdao Qianwan Container Terminal is now a “no man’s zone”. From a 60-meter-high crane, it can be seen that autopilot electric vehicles are transporting cargos in an orderly manner, and the hoisting equipment are operating rapidly at the stacking area automatically.

Wang now works at an office building far from the operating area, and he can finally keep his uniform clean in the new working environment. He has transformed from a manual laborer that had to endure harsh working conditions to an employee that works in front of a computer.

Now, the workload that used to need more than 60 people at a traditional port can be completed by only nine. Thanks to the great changes in the port, the blue-collar workers have become the commanders that control the “brain” of the terminal.

The change of the working content reflects the transformation of the production mode.

The development of ports indicates that in the old days, manpower always had to take the most strenuous part of the jobs, be it loaders or mechanical operators.

However, the situation is totally different today. All the procedures are automated at the unmanned port. An average of 33.1 units can be handled each hour, a performance way better than that of a traditional port.

Photo taken on Mar.8, 2019 shows cargo vessels work at the foreign trade container terminal of the Port of Qingdao, east China’s Shandong province. (Photo/People’s Daily Online)

At present, operation instructions are sent by computers, and tasks completed by robots. What the unmanned port relies on are the new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), intelligent control, information management, communications and navigation, big data, and cloud computing.

The practice of the Port of Qingdao has demonstrated that container terminals, though long been regarded as a typical traditional industry, can achieve deep integration with new impetus, new technologies, and new forms of business.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee stressed during his visit to the Tianjin port that the city should aim for the far-off future in its efforts to develop the port into a world-class smart and green port, noting that “a country must enhance its transportation, especially sea transportation, before seeking economic development and improvement in national strength.”

While liberating workers from intense physical work is the direct consequence of an unmanned port, the updates of technologies and the improvement in production mode mean more to the port itself.

From physical work to intelligence, and from manual skills to machinery operation, the port’s path to automation driven by scientific and technological development has contributed solutions to the transition in which traditional drivers are replaced by new ones.

Only by fostering new driving forces and upgrading traditional engines to realize self-revolutionary development, can a world-class smart port be built and high-quality economic development realized.

Hard work is the foundation of development and innovation is crucial. More than 40 patents were applied during the construction of the fully automated container terminal. The engineering has proven that the courage and capability to innovate, and to throw off the shackles of traditional knowledge and position are necessities for seeking development, and it’s clear that in order to pursue development, enterprises need to make courageous breakthroughs so as to overtake their competitors.

In February, the Port of Qingdao was invited to attend the Press Conference for the World’s First 5G Smart Harbour during the 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC) held in Barcelona, Spain. By sharing and promoting its experiences in technology application and smart harbor development, the port won extensive recognition and praise.

During People’s Daily’s interview at the Port of Qingdao, the smart terminal was also visited by a group of artificial intelligence experts from Germany. It is learned that such foreign technological exchanges have already become a routine for the port.

A slogan in the office building of the port says that “innovation defines the future”, which makes the smart terminal more like a tech firm.

Indeed, the evolving technological advances and innovative ideas are what support the attempt of the port to transform labor-intensive production to one that is driven by science and technology. In addition, they are also the source of the port’s tireless exploration of the future

Seeking new possibilities with innovation and intelligence, one will always find a road leading to a better future.

China contributes to Italian port construction for win-win results

Chinese company COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited is contributing efforts to the construction of an Italian port, lifting capacity for the terminal and creating win-win results, as China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) continues expanding its global influence.

The photo shows a bird’s-eye view the container terminal of the Vado Ligure port. (Photo by Vado Holding B.V)

The Port of Vado Ligure, 140 kilometers away from Italy’s industrial powerhouse Turin and 190 kilometers away from Milan, enjoys ideal geographical location. It is of vital importance for the economic development of northern Italy.

In October, 2016, the COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited officially joined the construction and operation of a new container terminal at the Port of Vado Ligure, after reaching an agreement with Vado Holding B.V.

The terminal, upon completion, will become Italy’s first automated container terminal, and also the first one built in the recent three decades in the country.

Currently, the construction of the container terminal is in full swing. Gantry cranes and quay cranes have been installed and started operation, and the bridge cranes are also ready for use.

Site manager of Vado Holding Bruno told People’s Daily that nearly 80 percent of the project had been completed, and the first berth is expected to be put into use before the end of this year. “The new terminal will have a quay that is 700 meters long, with an annual handling capacity of 860,000 TEUs,” Bruno said, adding that it can berth the largest vessel in the world.

A constructor (left) receives an interview from People’s Daily at the construction site of the container terminal. (Photo by Vado Holding B.V)  

According to Wang Yuqiu, vice-general manager of Vado Holding, the maximum capacity of surrounding terminals was 8,800 TEUs due to the limited channel depth and headroom. He introduced that the new terminal would be able to berth 20,000-TEU vessels, expanding the original cargo structure of the port that used to center with fruits.

With the inflow of other commodities such as industrial products and daily necessities, the cargo supply structure of the port will be largely diversified, Wang added.

After inspecting at the construction site, Vado Holding’s general manager Paolo Cornetto received an interview from People’s Daily. He said that the advanced equipment and operation system brought by the Chinese enterprise offered powerful technical support for the Italian side to construct its first automated container terminal. The new terminal would create nearly 400 jobs for local community, he added.

Since the start of the China-Italy cooperation, the operation of the Vado Holding witnessed continuous improvement. Last year, the company’s profit went up by 16 percent.

Cornetto was very pleased to see the new development of the company, saying the Chinese management team shared valuable experiences in construction and operation. “We have the same goal, and the cooperation is energetic. Everyone is actively facing challenges and focusing on their jobs,” he said.

“In a sense, the cooperation between China and Italy on the construction of the Vado port is collaboration between the strong, and our clients are also expecting the cooperation to bring new changes to the port,” Cornetto told People’s Daily.

“The BRI enhanced connectivity among countries along the route, and facilitated social and economic development,” said Cornetto, believing that the Vado port would play a more important role in the initiative.

Paolo Emilio Signorini, president of the Port Authority of the Port of Genoa, noted that Chinese investment endowed the Vado Ligure port with a new look. Thanks to the COSCO fleet, more and more cargos were entering the port, which further facilitated the development of local logistics industry, created more jobs, and injected impetus to the economy of Genoa, he said.

“The construction of the Vado Ligure port is an important part to improve the supply chain in northern Italy, Switzerland and southern Germany, and the port will possess a vital strategic position in the Liguria region, greatly improving the efficiency of the terminals.” said Giovanni Toti, president of Liguria.

“We hope to make more contributions to the construction of the Belt and Road,” he told People’s Daily.

The first batch of equipment purchased by the container terminal arrives at the port, December, 2018. (Photo by Vado Holding B.V)

In the future, most of the cargos imported via the Vado Ligure port will be transported by rail to northern Italy, Germany and Switzerland.

“I hope that the port can be connected with the China-Europe freight trains so that the cargos imported via the port can be shipped to central and western Europe, central Asia and China by land. In addition, the cargos transported by the freight service can also be transferred to the port and be shipped to Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco,” Wang told People’s Daily.

If so, the Vado Ligure port will not only serve as a new gate for central and southern Europe, but also a channel to enhance the region’s trade relations with Africa.

Apart from the Vado Ligure container terminal, other ports in Trieste on the Adriatic Sea, in Venice and Ravenna are also beefing up cooperation with Chinese enterprises.

Italy issued its fifth annual report on blue economy last June, pointing out that the transportation route of Asian trade was gradually becoming a leading force for global trade under the promotion of the Belt and Road construction.

The competitiveness of the Mediterranean ports was rising together with their elevating importance, the report said.

Xi’s upcoming visits to usher in new chapter of China-Europe ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay state visits to Italy, Monaco and France from March 21 to 26.

Xi was invited by Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Head of State of the Principality of Monaco Albert II and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The Chinese President’s first overseas trip this year, scheduled at the spring equinox, heralds hope and vitality, and bears the earnest anticipation from the heads of state and people of the three countries.

Planting a seed of friendly relationship between China and the three countries, the visits will definitely further boost China-Europe ties.

Both China and Italy are ancient civilizations closely bonded by the ancient Silk Road – a bridge for the exchanges of western and eastern cultures.

In recent years, the two countries maintained frequent high-level exchanges, as well as people-to-people exchanges at all levels. The Belt and Road construction also establishes a bridge for bilateral friendly cooperation in each field in the new era.

A recent special exchange of letters delivered a warm message to the public. Eight students from Italian boarding school Rome Convitto Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele II and its president Paolo M. Reale wrote Xi a letter to express their eager expectations for his visit and their willingness to promote friendship between Italy and China.

In the response letter, Xi encouraged the students to be cultural ambassadors between the two countries, and become modern-day Marco Polo.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Italy. Xi’s upcoming visit to the European country will take China-Italy ties in the new era to a new high.

Though China and Monaco are geographically far apart, the two countries maintained sound development of bilateral relationship based on mutual respect, equality, and win-win cooperation, setting an example for the friendly ties and common development between big and small countries.

In recent years, China-Monaco relations enjoyed stable and healthy development under the personal guidance from the heads of state of the two countries, with progress continuously being made in trade and economy, culture, and environmental protection.

The two countries held an economic and trade forum during Prince Albert II’s state visit to China last year.

They also held frequent cultural exchanges in recent years. China’s Palace Museum displayed cultural relics at the Grimaldi Forum Monaco, and 271 collections from Monaco were also exhibited at the Palace Museum.

The increasingly frequent cultural exchanges have reinforced public support for further consolidation and development of bilateral friendly cooperation. It is believed that fruitful results will be achieved for China-Monaco friendship during Xi’s visit.

This year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and France.

Over the past 55 years, the two countries upgraded their comprehensive partnership to comprehensive strategic partnership, and then the close and enduring comprehensive strategic partnership.

China-France ties have always been at the forefront of China’s relations with major countries in the west.

In Xi’s speech at the Meeting Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of China-France Diplomatic Relations held in 2014, the Chinese President described the spirit of the bilateral relationship with “independence, mutual understanding, strategic vision and win-win cooperation”.

In January, 2018, Macron became the first head of state visiting China in 2018, and also the first European state leader to visit China after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. The Chinese and French Presidents agreed to carry forward their traditional friendship, and ensure the long-term stability of the close and enduring comprehensive strategic partnership between China and France.

Today, Xi chose France as an important destination of his first overseas trip in 2019. His state visit to France will point clear direction and draw a blueprint for the future cooperation between the two countries in each field.

During Xi’s first visit to Europe as the Chinese President in March, 2014, he proposed to link the two strong forces, two big markets, and two major civilizations of China and the European Union (EU), and build China-EU partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization, pointing out the strategic direction of the development of China-EU relationship.

During Xi’s following visits to European countries, he made great efforts to draw new blueprints for China-Europe relations and vitalize China-Europe cooperation.

At the end of last year, Chinese government issued its third policy paper on the EU, defining its EU policy objectives in the new era and its major measures to enhance China-EU dialogues and cooperation for a time to come. The policy paper endowed China-EU ties with new connotation.

Under the complicated international situation, the stable development of the relationship between China and Europe, two of the world’s major stabilizing factors and major economies, conforms to the common interests of both parties, and will also inject certainty to the world.

It is expected that Xi’s first overseas trip this year will deepen China-Europe cooperation and create more positive energy for global win-win cooperation.

Commentary: Facts reveal hypocrisy behind US claims on human rights

The US, in the 2018 country reports on human rights practices released by its State Department on March 13, once again acted as a self-styled “human rights defender”.

It continued pointing fingers at over 190 countries and slandering their human rights situations groundlessly, as if the US had done a perfect job in this regard. However, facts and data are clear enough to reveal its own serious human rights problems.

The US claims that it values the right to life of every person, but statistics indicates that the safety of American citizens has been seriously threatened.

The US reported 57,103 incidents of gun violence in 2018, resulting in 14,717 deaths, 28,172 injuries, including casualties of 3,502 juveniles.

Chicago was named as one of the most dangerous metropolis in the US, as hundreds of people were murdered annually in recent years. On August 4 and 5 last year, 74 people in the city were shot, and 12 of them killed.

The Huffington Post reported on December 6 that gun violence has shortened the life expectancy of Americans by nearly 2.5 years, with shooting driving down the average lifespan of African-Americans by 4.14 years, based on official data on gun deaths between 2000 and 2016.

A 2018 report issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said drug overdose deaths among US residents exceeded 70,000 in 2017, or 200 per day. The rate had increased on average by 16 percent per year since 2014.

According to an article published on USA Today on December 18, 2018, the suicide rate of the US had climbed 33 percent since 1999. In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans committed suicide.

The US boasts its freedom of speech, but it is unprecedentedly controlling public opinions and pressuring news media.

A total of 89.7 percent of American colleges maintained policies that restricted student and faculty expression, said a report issued by Foundation for Individual Rights in Education(FIRE), a non-profit, non-partisan group founded in 1999 that focuses on civil liberties in academia in the United States, after analyzing written policies at 466 of America’s top institutions of higher education for their protection of free speech. In 11 states, at least half of colleges received the worst rating for “clearly and substantially” restricting free speech rights.

The Columbia Journalism Review reported that the US arrested journalists 34 times in 2017, 29 of whom were arrested for protest, and nine were accused of felony. Forty-four journalists suffered from personal attacks.

A Pew Research Center survey on American democracy and the political system showed 53 percent said the US did not respect “the rights and freedoms of all people.”

The US labels itself as a role model regarding democratic politics, but what has been presented by statistics and facts is money politics.

The 2018 midterm elections were proved to be by far the most expensive midterm elections on record. The final cost of 2018 elections stood at $5.2 billion, a 35 percent increase over 2014 in nominal dollars, the Center for Responsive Politics said on November 8, 2018.

Records were also set by the more than $1.3 billion spent by outside groups – those other than the candidates’ campaign committees – and the $98 million in so-called dark money, said a USA Today report.

The Guardian reported on August 7, 2018 that US elections were widely seen to be corrupt by the public. Members of Congress were viewed to be captured by corporations, wealthy donors and special interests groups. The average cost of winning a Senate seat was $19.4 million while winning a House of Representatives seat would cost at least $1.5 million on average.

According to a report released by Philip G. Alston, special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights for the UN, the combined wealth of the US cabinet reached about $4.3 billion, turning the US government into the spokesperson of the rich people.

The US took a vow of equal protection of everyone’s dignity, but the dignity of American women and children have long been trampled on.

An online survey done by non-profit organization Stop Street Harassment found that 81 percent of women interviewed had experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime. Another industry-wide survey by USA Today suggested that 94 percent of the surveyed women would have experienced some form of harassment or abuse during their career.

As reported by Gallup on November 12, the percentage of the US women who say they worry about being a victim of sexual assault has edged up to 36 percent, the highest figure bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbsince 2011.

More than 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania committed sexual abuse against a large number of children over the past 70 decades, with more than 1,000 victims, while senior church officials took steps to cover it up, said a CBS report.

According to a report by Star-Telegram on December 9, 2018, 168 clergies from fundamental Baptist churches spanning 40 US states were accused of committing sexual crimes against children, with as many as 45 of them continuing in ministry.

Nearly 40 percent of American middle-schoolers said they’d been bullied while 27 percent of high-schoolers said the same, said a report issued by nonprofit group YouthTruth.

The US poses as a country attaching high importance to racial equality, but recent data indicated increasingly serious racial discrimination and ethnic violence have been prevalent in every field of the social life.

A report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said hate crimes rose by about 17 percent to 7,175 cases in the US in 2017. Offenses motivated by racial prejudice made up about 60 percent of hate crimes, with African-Americans being targeted in nearly half of them.

According to the analysis of homicide arrest data on Washington Post, in the past decade, 63 percent of suspects who killed white victims were arrested, while the percentage of suspects who killed black victims was only 47. A 2017 survey by Pew Research Center indicated that 81 percent of African-Americans believe racial discrimination to be a serious issue in today’s world, up from 44 percent 8 years earlier.

The US promises to guarantee human rights protection for countries around the globe, but is indeed following unilateralism under the banner of “America first”.

It broke its faith by flagrantly withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, the UNESCO, the Paris Climate Agreement, and Iran nuclear deal. In addition, it rejected to ratify core UN human rights treaties such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Facts and statistics evidenced the hypocrisy and dual-standards of the US government on human right issues. The US takes human rights as a tool to slander and attack other countries, and protect the capital interests of the privileged class, which fully exposed the duplicity of its clarification on human rights practices.

(Chang Jian, director of the Center for Human Rights Studies, Nankai University) 

Palace Museum, Huawei work together to build digital museum

The Palace Museum in Beijing signed a strategic agreement with Huawei on March 15 to build a more digital, informationized and smart museum.

The Palace Museum (Photo/Chinanews.com)

Under the agreement, Huawei will connect the Palace Museum with 5G technology, build a smart zone within the museum and hold artificial intelligence (AI) contests at the museum.

The Chinese telecom giant will use innovative technologies such as 5G, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) to advance the Palace Museum’s goal of becoming a first-class global museum.

The cooperation with Huawei has drawn the museum closer with technology, said Shan Jixiang, the museum’s curator.

Shan envisions a high-tech-backed Palace Museum that presents visitors faster network speeds, high-definition video content, as well as an instant display of information about ancient buildings and cultural relics on display in the Palace Museum.

With the support of 5G technology, the museum will also be able to monitor the storage, restoration, transportation and exhibition of cultural relics, invite cultural relic doctors and archeologists from around the world to conduct remote consultations on cultural relic restoration and archeological investigations.

The AI technology is also expected to provide a more comprehensive platform for student education, Shan said.

Chinese ministers respond to key issues at the Two Sessions

Chinese ministers have responded to a number of key issues during interviews at the sessions of the country’s top legislature and political advisory body.

Journalists conduct interview at the Ministers’ Corridor of the Two Sessions (Photo/Chinanews.com)

1. Medicine, health care, and elderly-care

Ma Xiaowei, director of the National Health Commission

To build medical service centers in 500 counties, making sure that 90 percent of diseases caught by rural residents can be treated directly in the counties.

Hu Jinglin, head of the National Healthcare Security Administration

To include more life-saving medicines into the country’s medical insurance system, and lead the fight against insurance fraud as a top priority.

Zhang Mao, chief of the State Administration for Market Regulation

To strictly manage the market and punish manufacturers and sellers of fake products, until fake products are phased out from the market entirely. It will be a long-term task to regulate the market of medical care products.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Han Changfu

This year, toilets will be upgraded in 30,000 villages, or 10 million households.

Minister of Culture and Tourism, Luo Shugang

To take only two more years to solve the restroom shortage and improve sanitation.

Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, Zhang Jinan

To make sure that pensions are paid in full and on time. The country has decided to continue to increase the basic retirement pension in 2019.

2. Housing, transportation and communications

Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Wang Menghui

To take great efforts to cultivate and develop the rental market, with a focus on providing homes for new residents. This year, the ministry will carry out a garbage-sorting campaign in cities above prefecture level.

Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei

Chinese mobile users will get to enjoy complete number portability by the end of 2019, and the average unit price of mobile Internet will be reduced by more than 20 percent.

Head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, Feng Zhenglin

To maintain the on-time rate of flights to above 80 percent, and make sure that food provided at airports is of the same quality and price as is offered elsewhere in the same city.

Minister of Transport, Li Xiaopeng

To remove cross-provincial tollgates on expressways in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta, and major provinces in northeast and southwest China this year.

Minister of Natural Resources Lu Hao

To implement the reduction of time required for immovable property registration. The ministry is confident that they will complete this task together with relevant departments.

3. Culture, technology and education

Minister of Education, Chen Baosheng

To release a guideline for reduction of the amount of schoolwork.

Minister of Science and Technology, Wang Zhigang

To work with relevant departments to combine the contract system of scientific research funds and the reforms to streamline administration and delegate powers, improve regulation, and optimize services.

Liu Yuzhu, head of the National Cultural Heritage Administration

Boundless energy is needed and apathy is unacceptable in museum protection, and opinions on the implementation and development of museum reforms will be enacted within the year.

Gou Zhongwen, director of China’s General Administration of Sport

To implement The Overall Plan of Chinese Soccer Reform and Development with unswerving effort, enhance youth training and assist leadership change of the Chinese Football Association.

Head of the State Intellectual Property Office, Shen Changyu

To further reduce the trademark review period to five months, actively cooperate with the NPC in revising the Patent Law and establish a punishment system for infringement.

4. Economy, finance and investment

Minister of Finance, Liu Kun

To fully implement the plan to cut 2 trillion yuan worth of taxes and fees for enterprises.

Wang Jun, head of the State Administration of Taxation

To welcome and actively cooperate with relevant departments in the implementation of tax and fee reductions and supervise in a concrete and forceful manner, so that the favorable policies yield good results.

Minister of Commerce, Zhong Shan

To renovate and upgrade a group of pedestrian zones, optimize distribution patterns of convenience stores and implement a unique action plan to promote efficient delivery services in urban and rural areas.

Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), Party secretary of the People’s Bank of China

It’s an attainable goal that large-scale commercial banks will grant 30 percent more loans to small and micro businesses.

He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission

To lower market access for private investors, and help them solve problems such as the difficulty to finance.

Xiao Yaqing, head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council

To work to ensure that all targets set for SOE are realizable this year, unveil a supervision and management list and devote energy to promoting mixed-ownership reform and diversification of equity.

Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), Yi Gang

The bank governor believes that the market-driven RMB exchange rates will make the Chinese yuan a desirable currency that can be used freely.

5. Ecology, environmental protection, poverty alleviation

Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development

To work hard to lift 10 million people and 300 counties out of poverty.

Ecology and Environment Minister, Li Ganjie

Efforts should be made to bring down PM2.5 concentration, reduce the number of heavily polluted days, improve air quality, and create more blue skies for the people to enjoy.

Minister of Water Resources, E Jingping

To regulate 12,000 sites of rural water sources and visit at least 3,000 villages, in a bid to provide clean water for 60 million rural residents who have difficulties in accessing drinking water.

Ni Yuefeng, head of the General Administration of Customs

Initiate the Blue Sky 2019 campaign this year to resolutely crack down on foreign garbage smuggling.

Zhang Jianlong, director of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration

To further improve the system and mechanism of pilot national parks, and make sure the lives of people living within the parks are undisturbed and improved.

6. Judiciary and foreign affairs

State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi

To encourage Chinese enterprises and citizens to guarantee interests with legal weapons; to upgrade the 12308 smartphone app, and to make mobile payment available in overseas Chinese embassies and consulates.

Minister of Justice, Fu Zhenghua

To use the most stringent regulatory measures and the most strict punishment to promote the continuous improvement of food and drug safety.

Minister of Veterans Affairs, Sun Shaocheng

The law on the welfare of military veterans will be submitted to the top legislature for deliberation in the second half of 2019.

Tong Jianming, deputy procurator-general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate

To promote the establishment of mechanisms such as grading punishments of juvenile criminal cases and critical prevention through a particular department set up last year to deal with cases involving minors.

Jiang Bixin, vice-president of the Supreme People’s Court of China

To correct wrongful convictions, and protect the rights of entrepreneurs and private enterprises by law.