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Premier Li addresses key issues, plans

Updated: Mar 12,2021 07:20 AM    China Daily

Here are some highlights from Premier Li Keqiang's news conference on March 11:

• On cooperation with WHO

China has acted in a fact-based manner and with an open, transparent and cooperative approach to maintain communications with the World Health Organization concerning the origins of COVID-19. Like other countries, China also hopes to know the source of the virus as early as possible in order to better understand the spread of the virus and take more effective measures to contain it. Going forward, we will continue to work with the WHO in taking related work forward. China hopes that all countries will join hands to achieve an early victory over the virus.

• On cross-Straits relations

The Chinese mainland's policy regarding Taiwan has been consistent and clear-cut, adhering to the 1992 Consensus, which embodies the one-China principle. Under this premise, we welcome any political party or group in Taiwan to communicate with us and conduct dialogue on cross-Straits relations and the future of the nation. The mainland is committed to promoting peaceful development across the Taiwan Straits and national reunification and opposes any form of separatist activities aimed at "Taiwan independence" and foreign interference in cross-Straits affairs.

• On employment

The nation was able to create millions of jobs last year despite the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the government will continue to make stabilizing employment a top priority this year as challenges in the job market remain. The job market still faces great pressure, with about 14 million new job seekers estimated to be entering the market this year. The government will enable market entities to play the primary role in stabilizing employment and expanding new channels for employment in addition to some official programs. The goal this year is to create over 11 million jobs in urban areas, and the hope is to exceed that target.

• On reimbursement of medical bills

China is poised to allow the reimbursement of medical bills for outpatients who receive treatment outside their home provinces. Many seniors have moved to other regions to live with their children and help take care of their grandchildren, and reimbursement of medical bills has caused them trouble. The government must be determined to see these problems resolved. Changes will reduce inconveniences for out-of-town elderly people.

Authorities this year will also move to expand the scope of items allowed to be reimbursed outside people's home provinces. By the end of next year, every county-level region should have a designated medical institution to refund outpatient costs and other health bills for out-of-towners.

• On people's livelihoods

China plans to step up spending in healthcare and education this year in an attempt to protect people's livelihoods and to promote productivity and social fairness.

A greater share of central government spending, which has grown by a large extent amid the COVID-19 pandemic, will be earmarked to improve basic healthcare and compulsory education, areas that are central to people's lives. China will ramp up training to address the shortage of quality teachers in counties and villages, and roll out preferable treatment for them in terms of professional evaluation. Out-of-town children should be able to attend schools where they live, as equal access to education is crucial in achieving equality of opportunity. Authorities will also engage the private sector to develop senior and child care services, giving service providers more tax breaks.

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