New plan lays track for high-speed railway
Four departments under the State Council, led by the National Development and Reform Commission, jointly released a 13th Five-Year Plan for Railways, mapping out the major rail lines as high-speed trains have become a prioritized choice for travelers.
By 2020, China will have 150,000 kilometers of rail, including 30,000 kilometers for high-speed rail, the plan said. The central and western regions will have 900,000 kilometers of rail, it said.
The plan also said cities with at least 200,000 residents will be covered by the railway network and high-speed rail will connect more than 80 percent of big cities, which have a population of 1 million to 5 million.
No import tariffs for some infant products
Tariffs were further lowered on Dec 1 on some imported consumer goods, including 187 items, whose average duty rates were reduced from 17.3 percent to 7.7 percent.
Some infant dairy products will have no tariffs.
As required by the State Council, tariffs on some popular goods such as medicines and luggage have been reduced since 2015. This time, the tariff was further cut for eight categories of goods, including food, healthcare products, medicines, chemical products, clothing, shoes and hats, and household appliances. No extra tariffs were levied on some infant dairy products. Tariffs were reduced to 5 percent from 10 percent for some cosmetics, such as perfume.
The move is the latest to provide domestic consumers more diverse choices at lower prices, to boost economic growth.
Certificates issued for 80 percent of rural land
Some 82 percent of rural land contracted to farmers has been granted with land certificates, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
The ministry said 74 million hectares of land have been contracted to farmers nationwide. The certificate has been piloted in 28 provinces and regions and will expand to 2,718 counties, 33,000 townships and 539,000 villages. So far, Shandong, Anhui, Sichuan, Jiangxi, Henan and Shaanxi provinces and the Ningxia Hui autonomous region have reported to the State Council and the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the ministry added.
Unlicensed sales of fireworks targeted
The State Administration of Work Safety and the Ministry of Public Security jointly released a notice to crack down on unlicensed sales of fireworks, including wholesale and retail businesses.
The notice said work safety authorities at all levels should probe into and punish unlicensed wholesale and retail of fireworks, the notice said. Shops or businesses that fail to meet requirements for safe production must be closed and placed on a blacklist from both departments, the document said.