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China to Make Cities Safer
 

China on January 7 unveiled a guideline to push for safe development of cities, as some major accidents in cities caused great casualties and property loss in recent years.

The country must uphold the vision of making development people-centered and never seek development at the cost of safety, according to the guideline made public by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

By 2020, China aims to achieve "noticeable progress" in safe urban development, and create a number of demonstration cities in line with the objectives for becoming a moderately prosperous society in all respects, the guideline said.

By 2035, the country should put in place an improved system for safe urban development and create safe cities that are in line with the requirements for basically realizing socialist modernization, it added.

With the acceleration of China's urbanization, the population, functions and sizes of Chinese cities have been expanding rapidly, but safety hazards are also on the rise as cities become more complicated.

At the end of 2016, the ratio of permanent urban residents to total population stood at 57.35 percent, up from 52.57 percent at the end of 2012, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

The country must raise the capability of ensuring urban safety and prevent major accidents to create a sound environment for people's lives and work, according to the guideline.

The notion of safe development should be reflected in making plans for cities, including those for urban social and economic development and for disaster prevention and relief.

For residential areas, commercial areas, development zones, industrial parks and port areas, safety must be the prerequisite in determining their spatial layouts, the guideline said.

Safety-related laws, regulations and standards should be improved to raise the country's ability to ward off risks and ensure the safe functioning of urban facilities, it said.

"Safety must be put in the first place in urban infrastructure construction," according to the guideline.

China should push forward the construction of multi-functional underground pipeline corridors in an orderly manner, and reinforce the safety supervision of the construction and operation of transport, water, drainage, heating, natural gas and other infrastructure projects.

China should also strengthen safety risk control by thoroughly identifying urban safety risks, building a risk information management platform and drawing a map for the distribution of such risks in four tiers, with red representing the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

The screening and overhaul of urban safety hazards will be standardized by further improving the mechanism for the identification, registration and supervision of major sources of dangers, building a database for dynamic management and raising the online supervision capacity, the guideline said.

Emergency management and rescue capabilities will be reinforced, as the country will pursue fast, scientific and effective rescue efforts, improve the emergency rescue management in cities and push for information sharing and coordination of different departments.

The guideline also detailed measures on raising the country's safety supervision efficiency, making cities better at ensuring safety and improving leadership and coordination.

(Xinhua News Agency January 7, 2018)

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