September 22, 2018
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China to restructure government with two new ministries, merge agencies

Beijing, March 13 (efe-epa).- The Chinese Government presented to the National People's Congress on Tuesday a restructuring plan for its ministries and administration, in which it proposed to establish two new ministries, Veterans Affairs and Emergency Management, and merge banking and insurance regulatory commissions into a single agency.

The plan, presented by State Councilor Wang Yong before the National People's Congress (NPC), will raise the number of ministries from 25 to 26 and eliminate eight state agencies that report directly to the executive branch, the State Council.

According to the draft submitted to the NPC, the Ministry of Supervision will be abolished as this anti-corruption body will be replaced by a National Supervisory Commission, which will have greater powers, comparable to those of the executive, legislative or judicial branches.

The new Ministry of Veterans Affairs will protect the rights and interests of military personnel and their families, according to the draft, while the Ministry of Emergency Administration will respond to natural disasters and workplace accidents.

Among other changes, the National Tourism Administration and the existing Ministry of Culture will be reintroduced as a single Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The Ministry of Land and Resources will be replaced by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection will be converted into the Ministry of Ecological Environment with some changes in its functions while the Ministry of Agriculture will be replaced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural affairs.

The responsibilities of the Ministry of Science and Technology will also be extended.

The government also proposes merging the two banking and insurance regulatory commissions into a single agency, arguing that it would reduce financial risks and protect the rights of consumers.

The restructuring plan will also create a state administration of immigration, responsible for foreigners working in China, and an international cooperation agency, which the government said would help enhance the management of China's foreign aid.

The officials to preside over the new ministries and agencies remain unknown, but they are expected to be voted on and announced on Mar 19. EFE

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