Chinese legislators on Wednesday reviewed a series of reports on the reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the country's cultural system and social aid.
Minister of Culture Cai Wu said progress has been made in converting government-funded cultural institutions into enterprises, building a public cultural service system and securing a more prosperous output for cultural products.
Cai made the comments while delivering a report on cultural system reform at a bi-monthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.
Cultural sector restructuring has been ongoing since 2006 for the purpose of boosting the sector and turning its government-funded cultural institutions into enterprises.
Cai said the progress made thus far still lags behind the country's general demand, adding that new issues regarding cultural development must be solved in a timely manner.
While urging accelerated cultural legislation and policy support, Cai called for continued reforms in order to realize the cultural industry's role as a pillar industry for the national economy.
Also at Wednesday's meeting, which was presided over by top legislator Wu Bangguo, a senior economic official said the country will stick to reforming its state-owned enterprises and helping them engage the market.
Wang Yong, director of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, told lawmakers that a series of major decisions made by the central government regarding the reform of SOEs have proven to be "absolutely correct," as the reformed enterprises have gained more development momentum and the distribution and structure of the state-owned economy has been optimized.
Wang urged more measures to encourage SOEs to fulfil their social responsibilities and strengthen Party construction inside the enterprises in order to transform political advantages into core competitive power.
Civil Affairs Minister Li Liguo presented a government social assistance report, praising achievements made in poverty support in urban and rural areas, care for orphans and adults without social and medical insurance and improved natural disaster aid.
Calling for greater fiscal support for social assistance, Li urged improvements for procedures used to identify potential social assistance recipients, as well as coordination among multiple policy systems.
The meeting also reviewed a written report on Wu's visits to Iran, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Fiji.
On Wednesday afternoon, a meeting of the chairman and vice-chairpersons of the NPC Standing Committee presided over by Wu decided to put to vote a draft mental health law and a draft amendment to the Postal Law at the ongoing NPC Standing Committee session after further deliberation.
Also on the voting agenda are amendments for certain provisions of seven laws that are inconsistent with the amended Criminal Procedure Law, which was adopted in March by the NPC and will take effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
Additionally, a China-Tajikistan-Afghanistan treaty on the definition of the tri-junction point for national boundaries, a China-Thailand treaty on the transfer of sentenced persons, the qualifications of certain NPC delegates as well as appointments and dismissals will also be voted on at the session.
The 29th session of the Standing Committee of the 11th NPC will run from Oct. 23 to 26.