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China passes reconstruction regulation
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The State Council, China's Cabinet, passed a draft regulation on post-quake restoration and reconstruction at an executive meeting on Wednesday.

The regulation put forward special requirements on earthquake-resistance levels of infrastructure construction in the quake-hit regions, including schools and hospitals.

Premier Wen Jiabao hosted the meeting, pointing out it was necessary to guide restoration and reconstruction work into the legal orbit.

According to the regulation, related departments should properly arrange the location of temporary houses and their supporting facilities and distribution of funds and materials.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MHURD) stressed in a circular on Tuesday that infrastructure restoration was a priority in the reconstruction after the May 12 earthquake.

Local governments must organize personnel to conduct safety appraisals of all school buildings as soon as possible to ensure the safety of students as they return to school, according to the statement.

The Cabinet meeting also made research into and arranged agricultural production work for this coming summer.

The 8.0-magnitude earthquake centered in Sichuan' Wenchuan County had claimed 69,122 lives nationwide as of Wednesday noon, while 373,606 were injured and 17,991 were missing.

(Xinhua News Agency June 5, 2008)

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