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Govt policy moves from past week

Zhang Yunbi
Updated: Mar 03,2021 07:02    China Daily

Targets set to further reduce pollution

China has set a goal of further reducing the average PM2.5 density in the air — a bench mark to measure pollution — in 337 major cities over the next five years.

The target to reduce the average level of PM2.5 by 10 percent from the levels over the previous five years was announced on Feb 25 alongside a slew of other goals to tackle air pollution.

Over the next five years, major cities should also expand the proportion of days with good air quality to 87.5 percent annually, Liu Bingjiang, an official with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said at a news conference.

In the past five years, the country has focused on regulating sectors with heavy pollution, optimized the energy industry structure and vehicle use, launched campaigns to reduce seasonal pollution and identified more of its causes, Liu said.

China has achieved the goals outlined in its three-year action plan released in 2018. Last year, 337 major cities recorded good air quality for 87 percent of the year.

Last year, the number of cities that failed to meet the national standards for average PM2.5 density was 28.8 percent lower than in 2015, Liu said.

To further reduce air pollution, the ministry will prioritize cutting vehicle emissions for the next five years, Liu said, adding that lower carbon emissions and controlling air pollution had to be tackled simultaneously.

Rapid rise in R&D spurs on nation's economy

Progress in science and technology accounted for over 60 percent of China's economic growth last year, according to preliminary estimates, a reflection of increased spending on research and development during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20).

China's total expenditure on R&D last year could total 2.4 trillion yuan (about $372 billion), Wang Zhigang, minister of science and technology, told reporters on Feb 26.

Noting that the country has made "decisive achievements" in building an innovation-oriented nation, Wang said China's ranking in the Global Innovation Index, released by the World Intellectual Property Organization, had risen from 29 in 2015 to 14 last year.

Spending on basic research last year was nearly double that of 2015 and will likely exceed 150 billion yuan, Wang said.

To promote high-end industries, the government will speed up efforts to make breakthroughs in core technologies and strengthen the deployment of cutting-edge ones, Wang said.

A number of major scientific and technological projects in areas such as artificial intelligence will be rolled out, he said.

Greater support for the R&D will be given to the real economy along with translating scientific and technological achievements into industrial reality on a large scale, Wang said.

SOEs to seek greater high-quality growth

State-owned enterprises administered by the central government are eyeing high-quality development to underpin broader economic and social development as they make growth plans for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25).

Allocation of resources for the centrally administered SOEs will be further optimized, and their presence in strategic emerging industries will be consolidated, Hao Peng, head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, told a news conference on Feb 23.

Central SOEs have long played a key role in the country's economic development. Currently, the overseas assets of central SOEs stand at 8 trillion yuan ($1.26 trillion) and they have a presence in more than 180 countries and regions.

The total assets of these enterprises reached 69.1 trillion yuan by the end of last year.

In the next five years, the high-quality development of the central SOEs will be further enhanced, with progress seen in their scale of business and profitability, Hao said.