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Tariff cuts to head changes and advances

By Mo Jingxi | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-12-31 08:50
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Several ministry-level departments, including those responsible for customs tariffs, industry and information technology, and natural resources, have responded recently to issues of public concern.

Tariff cuts on imports to start on Wednesday

China will adjust import tariffs for a range of products, including frozen pork, starting from Jan 1, 2020, to promote high-quality trade development.

According to a notice released by the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council on Dec 23, the adjustment aims to expand imports, promote the coordinated development of trade, and advance high-quality development via the joint building of Belt and Road projects.

The temporary tariff rates, which will be lower than most-favored-nation tax rates, will apply to more than 850 imported items. These include consumer products, pharmaceutical materials, paper products and information technology equipment and parts.

From July 1, 2020, China will also reduce the most-favored-nation tax rates for 176 IT items and adjust some products' temporary tariff rates, the commission said.

The tariff adjustments will help reduce import costs and facilitate opening-up as well as the sharing of development achievements with other countries and regions, it said.

5G to make further inroads in 2020

All of China's prefecture-level cities are expected to be covered by the 5G network by the end of 2020. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Dec 23 it will step up its construction of the 5G system across the country next year.

China officially kicked off the commercialization of 5G services this year. So far, 5G base stations numbering 126,000 have been established across the country, the ministry said at a meeting in Beijing.

Progress had also been made on increasing broadband speed with lower rates for internet services, allowing subscribers to shift operators and keep the same number, and further cracking down on nuisance calls.

China will continue to upgrade the quality of internet services while increasing the speed and lowering rates, the ministry said. It will also support the integrated development of 5G and internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), the most recent IP system, it said.

Measures stepped up to improve food safety

Over 98 percent of the country's major produce is expected to pass spot-checks for food safety in 2020, the State Administration for Market Regulation said on Dec 26.

The goal was set at a working meeting of the administration held in Beijing.

Next year, market regulation authorities will focus on staple foods such as rice, meat, eggs and vegetables. Action to improve the quality and safety of dairy and meat products will continue, the meeting decided.

In terms of food safety in schools, efforts will be taken to reduce the occurrence of illnesses caused by food and all the kitchens of kindergartens and primary schools will be open for public scrutiny, it said.

To protect market competition, the administration will strengthen price supervision. It will also implement measures to guarantee stable supplies and prices of pork, grains, oil, eggs and vegetables.

Fresh efforts to repair mining damage

China plans to encourage social capital investment, including from private companies, to repair nationwide environmental damage caused by mining, a Ministry of Natural Resources guideline said on Dec 24.

About 3.6 million hectares of land in China had been damaged by mining activities as of the end of last year, according to the ministry. Of that, 1.33 million hectares of land are being used and damaged by ongoing mining activities.

The ministry said China will explore market-oriented ways to encourage the repair and reutilization of mining land as previous efforts had not worked due to insufficient investment.

A government-guided system with enterprises as the major players, and social organizations and the public also involved, will be established to stimulate and attract social investment, it said.

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