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Plastic restrictions coming to China? And other ‘reforms’

“Xí Jìnpíng 习近平, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), presided over the 10th meeting of the Central Committee for Deepening Overall Reform Monday,” according to a five-line English report from Xinhua. The Chinese version is more detailed, and also makes it clear that “reform” has nothing to do with political liberalization.

It does, however, list some interesting “reform” priorities, summarized below. Noteworthy is the inclusion of plastic waste as a key issue.

  • Actively responding to plastic pollution by restricting the production, sale, and use of some plastic products, actively promoting recyclable and biodegradable substitute products, and regulating plastic waste. (Note: In July, Shanghai began a citywide recycling program that seems to have serious government backing.)
  • Promoting the orderly social mobility of labor (although no mention is made of the hùkǒu 户口 or residence permit system, which prevents exactly this).
  • Safeguarding food safety and security.
  • Promoting the deep integration of advanced manufacturing and the service sector; promoting innovation and “high-quality development of trade, building the Belt and Road,” and “vigorously optimizing the trade structure.”
  • Focusing on “the main responsibility of the teachers, education, and the education of the people.”
  • Promoting “a simple, moderate, green and low-carbon lifestyle” by establishing “conservation-oriented institutions, green families, green schools, green communities, green tourism, and green shopping malls.”
  • Supporting the development of private enterprises, but only by “upholding and improving the basic economic system of socialism with Chinese characteristics” and at the same time “strengthening the management of state-owned companies and assets.”

Also see: 

How China’s ‘foreign waste’ ban might spur its domestic recycling program

Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.

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