1. Eastday: I have two questions: firstly, do the city's Dangerous Chemicals
Safety Management Regulations cover any new items in terms of licensing
requirements? Second question: What does the consolidation and improvement of
the cooperative medical care system in Shanghai's rural areas, as mentioned in
the newly-introduced "suggestions on improving cooperative medical assurance
standards in Shanghai's rural areas", mean for the establishment of "new
socialist rural areas"? Thanks.
Zhang Zhongyu (vice director of Shanghai Municipal Government's Office of
Legal Affairs): The Dangerous Chemicals Safety Management Regulations cover no
new items requiring licenses, while the existing items are stipulated by
national laws. We only made the regulations more detailed procedurally to make
their execution more convenient.
Jiao Yang: It is an important task proposed by the Shanghai Party Committee
and Municipal government to consolidate and improve the cooperative medical care
system in rural areas and also to establish a "new socialist rural area". The
system, closely related to farmers' welfare, is not only an indispensable part
of the Shanghai public health sector but also an important part of the city's
social security system as well. The newly-introduced "suggestions on improving
cooperative medical assurance standards in Shanghai's rural areas" will
consolidate and improve the cooperative medical care system in rural areas,
further enhance farmers' abilities to manage the financial risks caused by
diseases, gradually bridge the gap in medical assurance standards between urban
and rural residents and improve local cooperative medical security standards in
This year, Shanghai will accelerate the establishment of a new socialist
rural area, and an important part of reaching this goal is the improvement of
the public health system and medical service network in rural areas, the
extension of support to the establishment of medical service systems in villages
and towns, and the facilitation of the standardization of medical institutes
there and improvement in service standards and quality. Meanwhile, the city
should establish an incremental capital-raising system and improve cooperative
medical assurance standards for farmers by upgrading the new cooperative medical
care system in rural areas. We will also encourage the city-level hospitals to
offer medical services to the suburbs and more of such hospitals to move to the
rural areas in a bid to satisfy the medical requirements of farmers and improve
their medical condition. Therefore, the introduction of "suggestions on
improving cooperative medical assurance standards in Shanghai's rural areas" is
very important for the establishment of a new socialist rural area.
2. Shanghai Morning Post: I have three questions. My first question is
about cracking down on counterfeit ads. Shanghai held a special work conference
yesterday on eliminating counterfeit and illegal ads. Can you tell me what are
the concrete goals and measures for 2006? The second question is on small
vehicles: on February 15, Shanghai began to restrict highly-polluting vehicles
from entering the elevated highways in downtown areas. I noticed that the
traffic department has removed the signs barring small microbuses of less than
1,300 cc-engine-capacity from entering the elevated highways. Does this mean
that the city will lift the ban on small vehicles? What measures will follow? My
third question is about public transport. It is reported in today's newspapers
that Hangzhou has adjusted taxi fares on the basis of there being different taxi
models. Some taxi companies adjusted the initial distances covered by the
minimum charge while some raised the minimum charge. You said last year that
local authorities were considering a new taxi fare system in response to
fluctuations in fuel prices. Has the system been finalised? Do you foresee any
adjustments to taxi fares?
Jiao Yang: Local residents also share your concerns. Your first question is
about cracking-down on counterfeit ads. Yesterday, local authorities held a work
conference on this issue, and local leaders have set forward the requirements
and made work assignments. Cracking-down on fake ads is a long-term task to
improve and standardize the market, and local leaders are paying much attention
to it. Eliminating fake and illegal ads is an important task for this year, and
is in accord with the expectations of residents and also the responsibilities of
government and society. The city government has required all the relevant
departments to take the responsibility of eliminating these counterfeit and
illegal ads and punishing the perpetrators according to the law. This year's
supervision and improvement work for the advertising industry has four basic
goals: firstly, fake ads will be barred from major local media; secondly, those
breaking the law will be severely punished; thirdly, the media's supervisory and
responsibility system will be improved; and fourthly, the credibility and level
of social satisfaction in this area will be improved.
To achieve these goals, the city will seek improvements in nine respects. I
will briefly introduce these, and if you are interested in the subject you can
get more information from local departments. Firstly, to bring the coordinating
and commanding functions of the joint-conference system into full play to
encourage public participation and improve social influence in cracking down on
counterfeit ads; secondly, to improve supervision of ads and increase sanctions
and the exposure of illegal ads; thirdly, to establish and improve the reporting
system; fourthly, to establish a responsibility-investigation system in media
units which are found to post counterfeit ads; fifthly, to conduct
joint-investigations of ads to strengthen investigations and improve the
investigative system; sixthly, to set up a system of judicial punishment
for advertising companies which release counterfeit and illegal ads in order to
improve the supervisory and warning functions; seventhly, to explore and improve
a system for unqualified advertising companies to withdraw from the market;
eighthly, to establish a temporary consulting institute to encourage democratic
and scientific advertising supervision; ninthly, to build-up the credibility of
the advertising sector.
The improvement work I mentioned is not a one-off job, but an ongoing
project. We will not only expand our coverage, but implement fundamental
solutions as well, focusing on the establishment of a system for the long-term.
You are concerned about the relationship between the local restrictions on
heavily-polluting vehicles and on small vehicles. The existing restrictions on
heavily-polluting vehicles are based on successful experience from both home and
abroad and also local circumstances in terms of pollution, with one aim being to
improve the local environment and protect residents' health.
The lifting of restrictions on environmentally-friendly small vehicles from
running on elevated highways and being operated as taxis was decided by six
national departments in the light of the national laws and regulations relating
to energy-efficiency, development policies for the auto industry and the
country's medium and long-term planning. The two regulations, both based
on environmental protection, are in accord with the national and local
situation, benefit both the country and the people and also meet the
requirements of establishing an energy-efficient society. Shanghai will
implement the measures by adhering to the national regulations.
3. SMG radio news center: I have a few questions about the first topic at the
press conference, that is the "Dangerous Chemicals Safety Management
Safety management of dangerous chemicals, particularly in
transit, is very important, yet could be considered lax up to now. In the new
regulations, it is stated that "effective management will be applied through
each and every part of the transport process". I want to know what measures have
been initiated to ensure thorough oversight?
Secondly, with the new
regulations scheduled to take effect from April 1, are there any definite rules
for their application, such as penalties on corporations or individuals that
break the rules?
Meanwhile, in the new regulations, it's noted that "public
safety awareness should be enhanced". What specific measures will the
government adopt to achieve that end? Thankyou.
Zhang Zhongyu: As mentioned, in ensuring the safety management of dangerous
chemicals, transport is a hard nut to crack. On this issue, we have initiated a
variety of measures. For example, the fourth chapter of the regulations deals
with comprehensive measures relating to their transport. Please forgive me
for not itemizing them here one by one. As for legal obligations, an essential
section of the new regulations, I must call your attention to the last chapter,
which is concerned with the legal obligations of corporations and individuals,
and penalties faced for infringements.
The reporter also asked about
promotion of the regulations before their implementation on April 1. The
municipal government has required district and county governments as well as
related municipal government departments to manage it. I assure you we will
organize mass-media promotions before April 1. Thank you!
4. Shanghai Financial News: It's reported that the China Securities
Regulatory Commission held two meetings recently and decided to locate the
country's financial derivatives exchange in Shanghai. My question is whether the
exact location of the exchange has also been decided, and after the staff are
appointed, how would their children get schooling here?
Jiao Yang: The premise of your first question is that the exchange has
been allocated to Shanghai. However, I have not yet received any
information confirming this report, which should be released and confirmed by
state-level government departments. If it were a decision by state-level
departments, the Shanghai government will obviously offer all assistance and
5.21st Century Business Herald: I'm not very clear about the notion of
"developing new socialistic suburbs" as mentioned by the spokesperson. Is there
any difference between this and "new socialistic rural areas"? If it is a
new concept, what does it actually involve?
My second question is about the
first central government document of this year, publicized yesterday by the
State Council. It notes that Shanghai holds a prominent position in
China's economic landscape. The city, in pursuit of the so-called
urban-rural-dual-structure development model, has since last year piloted a
trial reform program concerning infrastructure construction in Pudong. How
has this program progressed, and has Shanghai evolved any unique ideas or
methods in developing the "new socialistic rural areas"?
One more question:
what's the total investment in cooperative medical institutions and facilities?
How is the operation going? I mean whether the investment is breaking-even,
profitable or run at a loss? You mentioned "cooperative outpatient medical
service". Can you explain this? Thank you!
Jiao Yang: "The new socialistic rural areas" and "new socialistic suburbs"
are one and the same concept. Shanghai is firm in implementing the State
Council's stratagem of developing new socialistic rural areas. But, given
the well-known fact that Shanghai is an international metropolis, the local
municipal government and party have revised the goal to one of developing new
socialistic suburbs while implementing the central development strategy.
It is in line with the central government's stratagy.
As for the finance and investment situation concerning the cooperative
medical service in Shanghai's rural areas, I have just mentioned that, in 2004,
218 yuan per-capita was allocated to the medical fund. Because the
pathfinder document was drafted and completed in 2005, data from 2004 was cited
as the benchmark. It indicates that, currently, the per-capita funding
raised for cooperative medical services has reached 218 yuan in all Shanghai
rural districts excepting Fengxian and Chongming.
Fengxian is expected to
reach the 218-yuan level in 2006 and Chongming to meet the target in 2007,
according to the "Suggestions on improving cooperative medical assurance
standards in Shanghai's rural areas". Those areas already having
approached the city's 2004 per-capita average should strive to
further-increase their financing in parallel to local social and economic
development. Depending on the local circumstances of the districts and
counties, the financing levels will vary. But, the general goal has been
set that, by 2007, financing for cooperative medical services in the rural
districts and counties should not be less than the 2004 city average of 218 yuan
per-capita and a long-term mechanism for financing should be in place. A range
of measures will be initiated according to the particular circumstances of the
districts and support will be granted to those considered more in need.
That's the principle of "providing specific measures to address a district's
particular needs", as embodied in the new assurance rules. For the
districts and counties having lower medical capital, government financial
support is cited as a must in the new rules. The support includes
government policy assistance, compensation for older farmers who are forced to
leave the land as well as fiscal transfer payments to needy areas. Thank
The spokesperson work team has just notified me that the full text of the
"Shanghai Dangerous Chemicals Safety Management Regulations" is available online
at the Shanghai government website www.shanghai.gov.cn.
6. National Business Daily: My first question is what role corporations,
particularly private firms, will play in the upcoming reform of the cooperative
medical system. On the taxi issue, has Shanghai any plans or new ideas to
peg taxi charges to oil prices?
Jiao Yang: For the first question, the new assurance rules state that
cooperative medical service coverage will be expanded under government guidance
and via public participation and cooperation. Therefore, to gradually
improve the cooperative medical service in rural areas, we will raise the
individual payments of farmers, reinforce government support, encourage
contributions from collective economic groups or social organizations and
attract participation from corporations.
As for the scheme to link taxi fares
to fuel prices, the city is still studying it, with all related government
departments contributing. But it's still at the exploratory stage, and
further necessary procedures have yet to be undertaken, such as the inviting of
public views, holding public hearings and conducting thorough investigation of
the options available.
7. Pudong New Area Weekly: I have two questions. The first is
about the city's Dangerous Chemicals Safety Management Regulations. The
regulations state that both automatic cut-off of gas and liquid petroleum and
anti-explosion devices are required at all service stations. I'd like to
know if this is mandatory, and if it is, when will all the service stations meet
this standard? How many sub-standard service stations are there in the
city, and what proportion do they form of the total? And also what are their
main distribution on the map?
Now my second question. We all know that
the Pudong new area is experiencing a huge wave of resident relocation to pave
the way for the city's reconstruction. Many farmers might move to the
townships a day after their lands are requisitioned. As a result, a
problem with their insurance attribution comes up, namely whether they should
continue to be covered by the rural cooperative medical-care insurance system or
join the town social insurance system. If the latter, can these people
still benefit from cooperative medical treatment? Can you explain the
operational procedures in such cases? Thank you.
Zhang Zhongyu: We do require local gas and liquid petroleum stations to take
precautionary measures against explosions. The newly-built stations, I
mean those put into operation last year, have taken these requirements into
account early in the construction process. So, for now, the focus of our
work will be equiping the old stations. This is a mandatory measure, a
"must". As for the practical issues of implementation, you may refer to
the administrative department concerned.
Jiao Yang: Just now, I explained the relation between town social
insurance and rural cooperative medical-care insurance. The people who
participate in the former may at the same time benefit from the latter.
It's states clearly in the regulations that those covered by town social
insurance can participate in the rural cooperative medical-care insurance system
after paying 50 percent of the average premium for the rural cooperative paid in
the previous year. This sum of money will be directly debited from
cooperative medical-care accounts upon application. There are offices
offering financial consultation on cooperative medical-care in every
district. People can refer to these offices if they have any problems on
8. China Economic Times: My question is for Director Zhang. Would you
please give us a clear picture of the administrative structure, by territorial
jurisdiction and departmental responsibility, in relation to dangerous
chemicals? In addition, what are the particular responsibilities of
each department concerned? Thank you.
Zhang Zhongyu: The administration of dangerous chemicals used to come under
several specific departments. However, there are now increasing numbers of
small or medium-sized enterprises and which deal with dangerous chemicals
opening in every district. So, it's inevitable for us to adopt new
administrative mechanisms to handle this. Government at all levels should
shoulder its responsibilities in this regard. There are two main points
here. One is that the relevant authorities must take comprehensive
measures on the administration of producers and dealers of dangerous chemicals
in each district. The second is that they must assist the city
administration department in certain circumstance. These two points are
clearly made in the regulations.
As for particular departmental
responsibilities, at the district-level, first of all, a supervisory system on
dangerous chemicals administration has to beestablished. Secondly, local
government should help to prevent incidents occuring involving dangerous
chemicals. Last but not least, it should take charge of organizing first
aid teams should incidents involving dangerous chemicals occur.
The above are
the distinct responsibilities of the district-level administrations. There
is more to be done by other departments. In addition to the Municipal
Administration of Work Safety, others like the Public Security Bureau,
Department of Transportation, Bureau of Maritime Affairs, Port Authority and the
Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau will more or less take charge of the
administration of dangerous chemicals within their jurisdictions.
9. Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan): I just have one question. A few days ago, the
president of the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan visited Shanghai. The
president met with city leaders and made a speech at a local university during
his stay. These were the two main events of his visit to Shanghai.
Can you comment on this? Thank you.
Jiao Yang: Excuse me; I am not very clear about the two events this
Japanese reporter has mentioned. I will try to find more information on
that. You might refer to the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office after the
press conference, as they will know all about this. Thank you.
10. China Business News: I have some questions concerning the rural
cooperative medical-care insurance system. As you said just now that the
figures differ between suburban districts, can you offer some examples?
It's said that the government is going to increase the financing of the
fund. So, what's the planned input figure and what proportion of the total
input does it represent?
There is still disparity in medical-care
insurance levels between the central areas of the city and the suburbs.
Once the rural cooperative medical-care insurance system standards are raised,
what kind of impact will this measure have on these disparities? What are
the expected changes if the gap between districts is narrowed?
can you explain the financing mechanism you mentioned just now; will the
fundreceive a year-on-year increase in input? Thank you.
Jiao Yang: We are now facing an imbalance in the financing for the
cooperative medical-care insurance fund between the city's central areas and the
suburbs. The 218 yuan mentioned above was the average amount collected for
the fund per person in 2004. Figures in the districts with better
financial environments, such as Pudong and Minhang, exceeded this average, even
reaching 300, while some were obviously below. This is the imbalance we
are talking about, and the aim of the announced policies is to rectify it.
It's an ongoing project.
As for the long-term mechanisms for financing
and the input of the government, you may refer to the papers listed on the
government's official web site at www. shanghai.gov.cn. It is
regulated that the monthly average subsidy on cooperative medical-care granted
to each rural resident by the municipal finance ministry is 20 yuan. Not
every person receives 20 yuan, some will be given more, some less, as 20 is the
average figure. At the same time, the focus of financial support from the
government will be on the most needy areas and the seriously ill.
The smooth operation of this long-term mechanism needs the support of both
the municipal finance ministry and the government at all levels.
for the proportions, or who pays the bill, I have already mentioned that;
payment contributions from individual rural residents in 2007 shouldn't be less
than the 2.0 percent of their net income as was the case in 2004. The
contribution of individual payments to the medical-care insurance system should
be at least 40 percent. of the total, with the government paying the same
proportion as individuals and the balance coming from the social fund.
11. Shanghai Securities News: I have two questions. As the blueprint of
the comprehensive reforms for Pudong has been approved recently, can you reveal
the detailed reply of the relevant administration on that? And when will
this blueprint be released to the public?
Secondly, what's the total sum to
be put into the rural cooperative medical-care insurance fund by town and
district-level governments and the municipality itself in 2006? Thank you.
Jiao Yang: You implied the reform proposals concerning Pudong had been
sanctioned. That is not exactly right. Let me put it this way. The Reular
Session of the State Council has granted the city's request to introduce reforms
in Pudong. The departments concerned are working in unison to formulate the
reform plans, and are conducting research on where and how to commence the
reforms. We will also seek the support of the central government, and advance
the reforms together with the central government departments concerned. Local
government will achieve a greater degree of autonomy over the reform. A reform
is a gradual process. It is impossible for us to list all the things we want to
do and implement them all at once. There is a lot to do before we can work out a
detailed plan and then implement it. Our methodology is that if an idea matures
and the cirumstances are appropriate, we will give it a go. An idea will be put
into practice when the time is ripe. I don't know whether you have noticed that
the subject of reforms in Pudong has attracted a great deal of media attention
recently. As a large project, the scheme will contain a package of reforms. The
media should publicize the progress that Pudong achieves towards fulfilling the
central government's tenets of the "three emphases" and the "four moves toward
Some projects have already been launched in Pudong. For
example: The People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, officially
opened its second headquarters; Shanghai customs has launched a pilot scheme
which includes eight new measures; also being piloted are nine new measures
which the State Bureau of Foreign Exchange plans to introduce to reform foreign
exchange controls as they relate to multi-national corporations; the supervisory
department is conducting pilot projects; the Administration of Industry and
Commerce is set to introduce three pilot projects; and the city's 30 new
policies to promote the modern service sector will be introduced on a trial
basis there. In essence, we will ensure the smooth-running of Pudong's reform
12. Phoenix TV: According to the statistics released today by the office of
the Central Finance Pathfinder Group, urban dwellers earned 3.22 times more than
rural people last year, indicating that the gap is widening. The National
People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative
Conference (CPPCC) will soon begin their annual sessions. Since an important
goal set for the period of the 11th Five-Year Plan is "to build a new socialist
countryside," it is a matter of great urgency that the income gap between urban
and rural areas be narrowed. What do you think of the local situation if
comparing it with the statistics released by the office of the Central Finance
Pathfinder Group? My second question is about the rural medical care system. You
have just said that the health care systems in Chongming County and Fengxian
District are still far from satisfactory. What are the minimum premiums charged
by the medical insurance programs in these areas? What will be the ratio between
the premium charged by the rural medical insurance program and that charged by
the urban program in 2010, or the end of the 11th Five-Year Plan period?
Jiao Yang: Your questions are very specific. I have no statistics to hand.
The Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Statistics released the data on the incomes of
urban and rural dwellers at the previous press conference. In fact, the average
income of local farmers has risen by 10 percent-plus for two consecutive years.
Of course, the urban-rural gap still exists and the municipal government has
taken various measures to narrow it. More detailed information and the
statistical data can be accessed on the official website of Shanghai
13 Youth Daily: I have two questions. The first one is to Director Zhang. We
have noticed that the city¡¯s regulations on the safety management of dangerous
chemicals stipulate that dangerous chemicals will only be transported in the
city by licensed firms following the required safety precautions. Does this mean
that all the dangerous chemicals bought by local residents should be delivered
by licensed transport companies from now on? How can they make use of the
service, and will it be free of charge? My second question is to the government
spokeswoman. The State Council has made new regulations covering recreation
facilities, which will come into effect in March. Under the regulations, all
recreation facilities should be closed to the public between 2 am and 8 am.
However, many local karaoke bars earn much of their money by providing all-night
service. Some karaoke owners say they will not admit new customers after 2 am,
but they will not ask those already inside to leave. What is the government's
view of this statement? Has the government taken measures to enforce the State
Council's new regulations? Thank you.
Zhang Zhongyu: Article 29 of the the city¡¯s new rules concerning chemicals
gives a detailed explanation of the centralized distribution system. The clause
states that "any company selling dangerous chemicals to local residents or
institutes (for instance, schools, hospitals and research centers) must ensure
that the chemicals are delivered by authorized firms".
Jiao Yang: As to your second question, I believe Shanghai will strictly
enforce the State Council's regulations concerning the opening time of
recreation facilities. Club owners are not entitled to interpret government
policies. The government departments concerned will draw up detailed plans to
fulfill the State Council's requirements, of that you can be sure.
14. Oriental Morning Post: My first question is about the rural cooperative
medical care system. Shanghai began to implement the system many years ago. Has
it produced the desired effect? Has the city achieved any progress in ensuring
that farmers suffering serious illnesses are able to bear the medical expenses?
My second question concerns dangerous chemicals. The new rules will soon be
enforced. I'd like to know whether Shanghai has experienced any accident caused
by dangerous chemicals, and if so what was the outcome? Did the government draw
up the regulations against the background of a previous accident?
Jiao Yang: The rural cooperative medical care system has been operating in
Shanghai for 48 years. In 1997, the government began to advocate a new rural
cooperative medical insurance system involving the participation of farmers
while being led and subsidized by the government. A primary feature of the
system is mutual assistance. Farmers suffering from serious illnesses can have
their medical treatment subsidized. Under the system, farmers suffering minor
illnesses can get grants from the town or village governments, while those
catching serious diseases receive funding from the district or county
governments. At present, 75 percent of local farmers receive medical treatment
at village clinics, 15 percent at town-level clinics, and less than 10 percent
visit hospitals at district, county or city level.
On the whole, the local
rural cooperative medical insurance system works well. With efficient use of
public funds, the system manages both to minimize financial risks and ensure
financial protection for everyone. It plays a key role in ensuring that farmers
suffering serious illnesses can afford the cost of treatment. At present, about
20 to 30 percent of the funds raised for the system are designated to subsidize
farmers whose annual medical expenses exceed 5,000 yuan. According to statistics
released on December 20, 23,700 farmers received an average subsidy of 4147.77
yuan for their medical bills last year. Of these, 200 were offered the maximum
subsidy permissible. Thanks to the system, the financial burden of farmers are
lightened and more farmers are able to pay their medical bills. Farmers having
minor illnesses can receive medical treatment at village and town clinics, while
those suffering serious diseases can obtain government subsidies. Therefore, the
rural cooperative medical insurance system is beneficial to local farmers, and
the use of funds is highly efficient.
Zhang Zhongyu: The reporter inquired as to whether any major accident
involving dangerous chemicals has occurred in Shanghai. I can say definitively
that Shanghai has never experienced an incident involving dangerous chemicals
that has led to mass casualties or other serious consequences. The municipal
government decided to introduce the new rules in view of recent incidents
involving hazordous chemicals that have occured both at home and abroad. These
incidents remind us that big cities like Shanghai should take precautions and
adopt safety regulations. Prevention is better than cure, as the saying goes.