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Rural restrooms, ads in schools, fake foods placed under scrutiny

Xu Wei
Updated: Oct 16,2018 8:52 AM     China Daily

Several ministry-level departments, including the ministries of agriculture and rural affairs, education, and public security, have responded recently to issues of public concern.

‘Toilet revolution’ to be stepped up in the countryside

China will step up efforts to renovate toilets in rural areas, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Oct 9. It said it will prioritize work in areas including planning, selecting products, setting standards and refining the maintenance mechanism.

Han Changfu, the minister of agriculture and rural affairs, said it is important to promote the renovation of toilets suitable for farming communities. Such facilities must be simple and cheap to maintain, he said.

China launched its “toilet revolution” campaign nationwide in 2015, with the aim to renovate toilets in rural households, which are still often makeshift outdoor shelters.

Han said the ministry will encourage research and development of toilet models that can be applied in extremely cold areas or areas faced with water shortages.

Warning over commercial activities on school grounds

School and kindergartens nationwide have been ordered to stay away from any form of commercial advertisements and activities, the Ministry of Education said on Oct 12.

The comment came after an incident in Heze, Shandong province, where students at a primary school were handed yellow caps and Young Pioneers’ red scarves carrying ads for a shopping mall during an activity to promote traffic safety.

The ministry said the incident was “very bad in nature.” It urged local authorities to draw lessons from it and take measures to prevent such ads and activities from entering schools and kindergartens.

It also called on local education departments to carry out inspections at schools and kindergartens to check for ads on students’ textbooks, stationery, school buses and other objects.

The authorities should also set up systems that record and examine activities that allow organizations into schools, collecting information on the activity’s subject, organizer and participants, and stopping those that are not related to the schools’ educational functions, the ministry said.

Police campaign targets fake and low-quality food, drugs

The Ministry of Public Security has launched a national campaign targeting crimes related to fake or low-quality foods, drugs and agricultural supplies, as well as activities that harm the environment.

The three-month crackdown started on Oct 10 and will target food containing banned additives, misleading advertisements, and counterfeit anti-neoplastic drugs and medicines for chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement.

Efforts will also be increased to clamp down on the manufacture and sale of fake or low-quality pesticides, seeds, chemical fertilizers and other agricultural supplies, it said, adding that activities that damage the environment will also be targeted, including illegal mining, fishing and the disposal of pollutants.

Police nationwide have handled over 21,000 cases and detained more than 26,000 suspects related to such crimes this year, the statement said.

Regulation aims to prevent online money laundering

The central bank has rolled out a regulation that requires online financial institutions to increase efforts to prevent money laundering.

The regulation, released by the People’s Bank of China and other departments on Oct 10, requires internet-based financial institutions refine the system to prevent money laundering and better identify their clients.

Online financial institutions have been urged to improve awareness of efforts to prevent money laundering and ensure the regulation is effective. They need to store data and materials for work related to money laundering and ensure each transaction can be traced.

Institutions are also required to report on large or suspicious transactions as well as establish monitoring systems, according to the regulation.