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Ministries respond to public concerns

Xu Wei
Updated: Nov 27,2018 8:56 AM     China Daily

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

After-school training in focus

The Ministry of Education said on Nov 21 that an online management platform will be launched to step up oversight of after-school training institutions across the country.

Information about licensed after-school institutions that offer training programs for primary and middle school students will be available on the platform, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry requires local authorities to use the platform to complete the investigation and rectification of training institutions with various problems and make public relevant policies.

The platform will enable education authorities nationwide to blacklist poorly managed institutions, help the public learn information regarding training institutions and take public complaints on board, said the ministry.

As of Nov 15, the country has examined 401,050 after-school education institutions in a national campaign, among which 272,842 were found to have problems and 163,203 made rectifications, the ministry said.

Swine fever under control

An official with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on Nov 23 that African swine fever has been put under effective control even though 74 outbreaks have been confirmed in 20 provincial areas.

About 600,000 pigs had been culled by Nov 22 since the first outbreak was confirmed in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, in August, Feng Zhongwu, deputy head of the ministry’s animal husbandry and veterinary department, said at a news conference.

Feng said the outbreak is at stable levels and has been generally under control, adding that quarantines have been lifted in 24 areas in seven provinces, including all affected areas in Henan and Jiangsu provinces.

The ministry has banned the feeding of pigs with kitchen waste since the end of August, and has ramped up its supervision over the transport of live pigs, as research showed 46 percent of outbreaks have been caused by people or vehicles carrying and spreading the disease.

Solid waste crackdown launched

The General Administration of Customs said on Nov 20 that it has investigated 412 cases of smuggling solid waste into the country and arrested 576 suspects in the first 10 months of 2018.

The administration said in a statement that over 1.46 million metric tons of solid waste had been seized by the authority over the 10-month period as part of its efforts to ban low-grade trash imports into the country.

China has banned imports of 24 types of solid waste, including plastics and paper, and has imposed tough quality restrictions on other recyclable materials since the beginning of this year.

The list will be extended to include 32 types of solid waste, such as hardware, ships, auto parts and scrap stainless steel, titanium and wood, according to the administration.

Green sector gets major boost

China will step up its land greening efforts and boost domestic ecological resources, according to a plan released on Nov 20.

The plan, released by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, said the country will increase its forest coverage ratio to 23.04 percent by 2020, while the volume of forest resources will expand to 16.5 billion cubic meters.

The country also aims to raise its vegetation coverage ratio of grassland to 56 percent by 2020, and rehabilitate 10 million hectares of desertified land during the period.

According to the plan, the country will push forward ecological restoration projects, encourage public participation in the greening campaign and increase the protection of natural forests and grasslands.

The plan was released as the country devotes greater efforts to push forward environmentally friendly development, with measures rolled out to ban grazing on degraded grasslands, increase financial input, and step up law enforcement in the sector.

Since 2012 China’s desertified land has shrunk by 10 million hectares and a total of 339,000 hectares of forests have been planted, according to the administration.