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Govt policy moves from past week

Zhang Yunbi
Updated: Sep 09,2021 09:18 AM    China Daily

Campaign targeting antiquity theft

A yearlong nationwide campaign by Chinese police has detained thousands suspected of stealing or trafficking cultural relics, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

During the campaign to curb the theft and sale of ancient items which began on Aug 31 last year, police departments across the country have solved 2,200 cases, apprehending more than 4,500 suspects and breaking up over 450 criminal gangs.

About 58,000 antiquities were retrieved during the campaign, the ministry said.

At a meeting on Aug 31, Vice-Minister of Public Security Du Hangwei called for improving cooperative and long-term efforts by public security agencies and cultural relics departments to crack down on antiquities crimes.

Thanks to the campaign, the number of cases last year was the lowest since 2013.

In recent years, the ministry has also bolstered cooperation with the National Cultural Heritage Administration to boost security in museums nationwide.

As antiquity theft remains rampant, the decision has been taken to extend the campaign by a year, a ministry official said.

Confidence in autumn harvest despite disasters

Despite severe disasters triggered by extreme weather in parts of the country this year, China is confident that there will be a bumper harvest of grain this autumn.

Wei Baigang, a spokesman at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said on Sep 1 that the impact of recent disasters on China's agriculture sector has been "generally less severe than in previous years".

More than 4.8 million hectares of crops have been hit by disasters since June, approximately 2.63 million hectares less than last year, and the lowest figure for the three-month period in the last five years.

Disasters only affected production in parts of the country, and their impact was temporary, Wei added, saying that areas that were hit hard accounted for a fraction of those dedicated to autumn grain production.

Henan province, a major agricultural region, suffered heavy flooding this summer.

The province reported that about 730,000 hectares of autumn grain had been affected, accounting for less than 1 percent of the national cultivated grain area.

Of the country's 13 major grain-producing regions, many have experienced robust momentum in autumn grain production, said Wei, noting that Northeast China is likely to increase its output of corn and rice.

As the harvest nears, authorities have made preparations for disaster prevention, bolstering confidence that the harvest will be abundant, Wei added.

Cities to stop massive demolition of buildings

As cities in China pursue the renovation of older and informal districts, large-scale demolition of buildings will be avoided, the country's urban-planning authorities said on Aug 31.

In recent years, many local governments have introduced urban renewal policies in line with the central government's agenda.

However, some of these plans have involved the mass demolition of old towns and districts or the cutting down of old trees on a large scale, running counter to the original policy.

Huang Yan, Vice-Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, told a news conference that the country will avoid the widespread razing of existing buildings unless those buildings are illegal or dangerous, while historical buildings should be preserved.

All localities should carefully plan urban-renewal programs, taking into account the particularities of their situation and avoiding hidden debts, Huang said.