Govt policy moves from past week
Updated: January 10, 2024 11:09 China Daily

Expanded aviation services to cover 91.6% of population

China is expected to expand its aviation services to cover 91.6 percent of the population by the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said on Thursday.

The expansion is part of the administration's efforts to make contributions to the country's dual-circulation development paradigm. Under the dual-circulation model, the domestic market is the mainstay, while the domestic and foreign markets reinforce each other.

China's civil aviation sector handled 620 million passenger trips last year, up 146.1 percent year-on-year, and 93.9 percent of the pre-pandemic level in 2019.

The sector transported 7.35 million metric tons of cargo and mail last year, up 21 percent year-on-year and about 97.6 percent of the figure seen in 2019.

Guideline urges production of emergency response robots

Efforts to produce a batch of sophisticated emergency response robots by next year for uses including search and rescue operations will be accelerated, according to a guideline issued on Thursday.

Issued by the Ministry of Emergency Management and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, it said the development and practical application of emergency response robot technologies will advance the modernization of emergency management systems and capabilities.

It said emergency response robots are intelligent robots that perform tasks such as monitoring and early warning, search and rescue, communications command, logistics support and other operations during situations such as disaster prevention, reduction and relief, and can partially or completely replace human workers.

The major goal is to develop a batch of advanced emergency response robots that are more professional, refined and intelligent by next year, the guideline said.

Particular emphasis will be placed on developing emergency response robots for key purposes such as reconnaissance, searches for signs of life, material support, extinguishing fires, high-risk operations, complex rescues, the opening of safe channels and communication support in response to situations including floods, fires, earthquakes and geological disasters, the guideline said.

Insurance has helped ease burden of medical expenses

The National Healthcare Security Administration said on Jan 2 that the country's insurance industry has fully utilized its advantages and played a positive role in reducing the burden medical expenses place on people and maintaining social stability.

The administration made the remarks while responding to suggestions raised by National People's Congress deputies in March during the two sessions — the annual meetings of the NPC, the country's top legislative body, and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top advisory body.

The administration said 21 insurance companies are engaged in the business of critical illness insurance for urban and rural residents nationwide. Over the past decade, they have made payouts to more than 70 million insured patients, alleviating the burden of high medical expenses.

As a supplement to basic health insurance, commercial health insurance focuses on meeting multilevel, diversified and personalized needs.

In China, more than 170 insurance companies now offer 5,000 products that cover fields such as disease prevention, medical services and maternity insurance, the administration said. In 2022, the premium income from commercial health insurance amounted to 865.3 billion yuan ($121.1 billion), with payout expenditures of 360 billion yuan, it said.

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