China to speed up upgrades of urban old residential areas, rural infrastructure

Updated: Jun 19, 2019 Xinhua Print
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Several old residential buildings have been demolished in Wuhan city, Hubei province, June 10, 2015. [Photo/IC]

BEIJING - The State Council, China's cabinet, plans to accelerate the regeneration of old residential areas in cities, urging faster progress in upgrading the electric grid and expanding access to safe drinking water in rural areas.

An executive meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday called for implementing major projects that can meet people's needs and spur domestic demand to boost effective investment.

Regeneration projects, which are expected to cover an estimated 100 million urban residents, will focus improving facilities for water, electricity, gas and optical fiber cable in old residential areas, according to a statement released after the meeting.

Central government subsidies will be allocated this year to fund the regeneration, while financial institutions and local governments will be encouraged to increase sustainable financial support to the upgrades.

In terms of rural electric grid upgrades, each provincial-level area should ensure that tasks designated in the 13th Five-Year Plan should be completed a year in advance this year, and more efforts should be made to reduce electricity access time for enterprises to improve the business environment.

The meeting highlighted faster drinking water project construction to fully resolve issues such as inadequate water supply and excessive fluorine for 60 million rural residents next year.

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