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Policy digest: Recent policy moves in China

Mo Jingxi
Updated: Nov 24,2020 08:48 AM    China Daily

Guideline emphasizes importance of grains

Faced with domestic and international uncertainties, Chinese authorities have underlined the importance and urgency of preventing the non-grain use of farmland and stabilizing grain production, according to a guideline released on Nov 17.

Issued by the General Office of the State Council, it said the non-grain use of farmland in some places, including illegal tree planting and pond digging on permanent basic farmland, will affect the nation's food security if allowed to continue.

Permanent basic farmland refers to high-quality arable land that should be used to produce rice, wheat and corn.

Saying food security should be the top priority of China's agricultural work, the guideline urged efforts to use farmland in a scientific way, saying that grain production must be the priority in using farmland resources.

It said governments and departments at all levels should further optimize production structures and implement the strictest farmland protection policies to prevent the non-grain use of arable land.

In order to protect farmland and regulate its use, strict restrictions should be placed on the conversion of farmland into other types of agricultural land such as forests and gardens, it said.

While the use of industrial and commercial capital is encouraged in grain processing and circulation in rural areas, the guideline said it should not enable the large-scale transfer of farmland for non-grain purposes.

Agricultural and natural resources authorities across the nation should also monitor and assess grain production on farmland every six months with modern information technologies such as satellite remote sensing, it said.

Innovation urged in developing foreign trade

China has unveiled a series of measures to promote the innovative development of foreign trade, the General Office of the State Council said in a guideline issued on Nov 9.

The innovative development of foreign trade should focus on building up the new development paradigm for the country, searching for new ways to explore the international market, optimizing the domestic layout of foreign trade, and enhancing the competitiveness of foreign trade firms, it said.

To create a favorable international environment for trade and economic development, the guideline said efforts will be made to negotiate and sign more high-standard free trade agreements and regional trade agreements while speeding up exchanges under existing trade deals.

It urged efforts to enhance trade quality in East China, increase the proportion of trade in central and western regions and expand the opening-up of northeastern areas.

The guideline also required authorities to cultivate a batch of leading enterprises with strong innovative capacity and international competitiveness in areas such as communications, electricity, engineering machinery and rail transportation.

To provide a better environment for foreign trade, the guideline said customs clearance procedures will be further simplified.