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Issue #1700      September 2, 2015

Region Briefs

China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee recently delivered a research report to the country’s top legislature. The report introduced the 13th Five Year Plan from 2016 to 2020, a blueprint for the country’s future development. The plan will emphasise on economic reform driven by a socialist market, as well as technological and systemic innovations. The plan will also pay closer and special attention to issues such as social security, health, education and income distribution, continuing to improve people’s living standards.

China’s President Xi Jinping urged the government to put more effort into raising living standards in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and the other four Tibetan-inhabited provinces, providing them with special financial support and favourable polices in order to boost social development and economic growth. The president said that measures should be taken to ensure the continuity and sustainability of development, improving living standards for various ethnic groups and increasing social harmony. He added that the government should provide even better public services as soon as possible to alleviate poverty and the reasons that lead to poverty, as well as to foster education on socialist core values. Premier Li Keqiang at the meeting said that Tibet should increase its self-development capability by promoting infrastructure building (water supply, power grids and transportation network), agricultural and tourist industries, and environmental protection.

Vietnam’s capital Hanoi plans to build a new water plant by using surface water from the Hong River, intended to provide sufficient clean water to people who live in the southern and northern districts. The plant will cost over AU$180 million and start construction in October. The plant will provide 150,000 cubic metres of clean water a day by 2018 and double the amount by 2020. This new water plant will relieve the water supply shortage in the city and gradually replace the old water pipes.

The Communist Party of Vietnam’s newspaper Nhan Dan (People) will officially operate a TV channel from September 1 (the 70th anniversary of the August Revolution and National Day). The channel will broadcast a special program on September 2, introducing and reflecting on the country’s political, economic, social and cultural factors. The channel will broadcast four news sessions a day and other programs such as on ethnic minority, culture, business and the Party. The channel director Dinh Nhu Hoan says that it is a channel of the Party, state and people.

According to a survey released by a non-profit organisation, casual workers in Japan were paid around AU$13.5 an hour in 2013, which was a drop of AU$3.5 from AU$17 in 2001. The Japanese Communist Party member and parliament representative, Koike Akira, says the casual workers’ annual wage decreased by more than AU$5,750, which caused further financial difficulties for working families.

Next article – Culture & Life – The global impact of regime change policy

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