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Innovation, Xiangtan plan, fatal blasts discussed

By HU YONGQI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-05 09:16

Most of the measures encouraging innovation, which have been piloted in eight areas, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei city cluster, Shanghai and the Pearl River Delta since June 2016, will be replicated in other regions nationwide, said the State Council, China's cabinet.

It is part of the reform to remove barriers and support mass entrepreneurship and innovation decided at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Aug 30.

Targeted measures will be adopted to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, including a one-stop service in financing SMEs, according to a statement released after the meeting.

A comprehensive system will be established to strengthen intellectual property rights protection. Universities and research institutions will be allowed to introduce and reward high-level expertise in flexible and diverse forms, including annual salaries and wages.

The meeting also encouraged high-quality foreign students and experts to start a business or work in China. Eligible foreign students can apply for a work permit or a work-related residence permit. One-stop application and issuance of work permits will be promoted around the country to facilitate their applications.

Urban planning approved

The State Council has approved overall urban planning (2010-20) for Xiangtan in Hunan province.

Xiangtan has an important role in the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan city cluster as a key industrial, technological and tourism city in the central province.

According to the plan, urban and rural development will be coordinated on land of a designated area up to 1,069 square kilometers. Infrastructure and public services will be available to suburban communities.

By 2020, downtown Xiangtan should maintain its population to within 1.1 million with an area of 110 square kilometers to be used for urban construction. Local governments should not establish new districts or development zones outside the approved area.

Newly added land for construction should be stringently restricted and underground space should be further developed. Efforts must be exerted to improve the land usage ratio and protect basic farmlands.

The State Council also urged the city government of Xiangtan to improve urban infrastructure and establish a comprehensive transport system and build more parking lots in urban areas.

Other amenities, such as water supply and the waste disposal systems, should be further improved in a coordinated way. Disaster prevention and reduction measures should also be strengthened, the document said.

The local government is to firmly control emissions, increase the efficiency of using water resources, build the city as a "sponge city", and boost the protection of scenic spots and special ecological function areas.

The State Council also set targets for the city to provide better public services in education, healthcare, urban management, affordable housing and other services.

Responsible for accidents

The State Council said on Thursday that 66 people, including 57 being investigated by the police, were accountable for two fatal colliery explosions that killed 65 people last year. A State Council investigation team concluded that the blasts in Chongqing and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region were two cases of workplace safety accidents resulting from inadequate supervision.

On Oct 31, 33 people were killed in an explosion at the Jinshangou Coal Mine in Chongqing, which led to economic losses of 36.8 million yuan ($5.6 million). The State Council investigation report said the Jinshangou Coal Mine operated illegally beyond its boundary, used prohibited equipment and ignored regulations.

Another 32 people lost their lives in the other explosion at Baoma Mining Company in Inner Mongolia on Dec 3, which led to 44 million yuan in economic loss. The report said this blast also resulted from illegal operations. Chongqing's Vice-Mayor Mu Huaping and Wang Bo, vice-chairman of the regional government of Inner Mongolia, were found unable to fulfill their duties. Their neglect of duty will be circulated among governmental officials.

Local authorities in Chongqing and Inner Mongolia were to blame for their failure to carry out their responsibilities.

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