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Officials face infectious disease questioning

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-29 13:32

BEIJING - Chinese officials of the State Council, or the Cabinet, attended Thursday a legislative session to face questions on the prevention and control of infectious diseases, a move to ensure public health and improve supervision of the government.

Presided over by Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, the inquiry was the first of its kind since the committee was formed in March.

Senior officials from 15 ministries and administrations including those of health and family planning, development and reform, education, public security, finance, environmental protection, water resources and agriculture attended the session held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to listen to suggestions and respond to questions and criticisms from lawmakers.

Such an inquiry, involving questions and criticisms on widely concerned issues, is a legal means by which the NPC oversees the State Council, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

China is facing challenges of preventing and controlling infectious diseases due to a rise of emerging infections and mass migration, said Li Bin, head of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, at a report to the legislative session on Wednesday.

Threats of traditional infectious diseases remain while new ones are emerging continuously. China has been hit by one emerging infectious disease every one or two years over the past 10 years. Mass migration in the country and personnel exchanges for international trade have also led to difficulties in disease prevention and control, she said.

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