II. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
From 2012 to 2015, China continued to deepen reform and adopted a series of important measures to promote development and improve people's livelihoods, comprehensively strengthening the guarantee of people's economic, social and cultural rights. Major targets set by the Action Plan were fulfilled on schedule.
(1) Right to work
Figure 1: New urban jobs 2012-2015 (Unit: Ten thousand)
Equal rights to employment have been guaranteed. In 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, 12.66 million, 13.1 million, 13.22 million and 13.12 million new urban jobs were created respectively, surpassing the target of 9 million new jobs every year. The registered urban unemployment rate was kept within 4.1 percent, lower than the 5 percent target.
Figure 2: Number of regions that increased minimum wages and average rate of increase (2012-2015)
The right to get work remuneration as well as rest and leave has been further guaranteed. In 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, minimum wages were raised in 25, 27, 19 and 27 regions respectively by 20.1 percent, 17 percent, 14.1 percent and 14.9 percent. In 2012, the Standing Committee of the National People' s Congress amended the Labor Contract Law, again stressing equal pay for equal work. In 2015, more than 90 percent of employees working in various enterprises signed labor contracts. More than 50 percent of workers enjoyed annual leave with pay in 2015, according to a survey on human resources and social security conducted in 60 cities in November 2015.
Work safety conditions have continued to improve. The State Administration of Work Safety issued Opinions on Further Enhancing the Construction of the System of National Work Safety Emergency Platforms. The central government, 20 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government), some cities, major counties and large enterprises in high-risk industries set up separate work safety platforms. Communication and connectivity were established among the platforms of the central government, 13 provincial regions and 7 national mine emergency rescue teams. Compared with 2011, the number of all types of industrial accidents and the number of deaths decreased by 19 percent and 12.4 percent respectively and the number of major industrial accidents and the number of deaths decreased by 47.2 percent and 31 percent respectively. In 2013, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress deliberated and passed the Law on Special Equipment Safety. From 2011 to 2015, while the total number of special equipment increased by 70 percent, the number of deaths related to special equipment was kept within 300 each year for five consecutive years and the death rate for every 10,000 pieces of special equipment decreased to 0.36 in 2015 from 0.67 in 2010, matching the level of special equipment safety in medium developed countries. Relevant government departments revised the Administrative Measures for Diagnosis and Identification of Occupational Diseases and the Classified List of Hazardous Factors of Occupational Diseases, formulated five regulations including the Provisions on the Supervision and Administration of Occupational Health at Work Sites, the Measures for the Administration of Occupational Health Examination and criteria for diagnosing new occupational diseases. They also issued over 70 occupational health technical standards including the Technical Code for Dust Control in Stone Material Processing. Special campaigns were launched to control dust and hazardous materials in industries prone to occupational diseases including gold mining, cement production, stone material processing and wood furniture making.
The skills of workers have been upgraded. Rural and urban workers received extensive vocational training. By the end of 2015, the total number of skilled workers had reached 167 million, exceeding the planned target of 125 million ahead of schedule. 45.01 million of them were highly-skilled workers, accounting for 27.28 percent of the total.
(2) Right to basic living standards
Figure 3: Percentage of increase of GDP, urban residents' per capita disposable income and rural residents' per capita net income (2012-2015)
From 2012 to 2015, the increase of residents' per capita disposable income surpassed the growth rate of GDP of the same period. The annual growth rate of the per-capita disposal income of urban residents and per-capita net income of rural residents were 7.5 percent and 9.2 percent respectively, exceeding the planned target growth of 7 percent.
Tangible results have been achieved in poverty reduction. In 2012, relevant government departments formulated the 12th Five-year Plan for Poverty Reduction Village By Village. By 2015, poverty alleviation projects covering 30,000 villages had been implemented, exceeding the target of 24,000 villages. Investment totaled 144.569 billion yuan, an average of 4.8 million yuan for each village. From 2012 to 2015, the State Development and Reform Commission appropriated 21 billion yuan from the central budget for relocation of impoverished residents, which brought about an additional more than 200 billion yuan in local government input and various other investments. About 8 million people in poverty were relocated. Training programs in practical skills focusing on planting and breeding were conducted for 9.3 million impoverished laborers who chose to stay. The government allocated various poverty reduction funds totaling 25.53 billion yuan for 17 impoverished border counties (cities) and launched 3,807 poverty reduction projects in border areas, directly benefiting 306,000 households. By the end of 2015, over 729,000 technicians had been sent to grassroots levels in rural areas, covering 90 percent of all counties (cities, districts) and helping 60 million people directly or indirectly.
Figure 4: Rural population in poverty 2012-2015(Unit: ten thousand)
The number of people living in poverty has been greatly reduced. From 2012 to 2015, the number of people living in poverty in rural areas was reduced by 66.63 million. In 2015, the state raised the national poverty alleviation standard from the 2010 level of 2,300 yuan to 2,855 yuan following a dynamic adjustment mechanism. The standards set by some provincial regions were higher than the national standard.
Figure 5: Number of housing units starting construction in various dilapidated areas 2012-2015 (Unit: ten thousand units)
Housing conditions have been improved. In 2012, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development issued the Measures for the Administration of Public Rental Housing. In 2014, the public rental housing system and the low-cost rental housing system merged into one. From 2012 to 2015, the state allocated 770 billion yuan to support affordable housing projects, with 29.7 million housing units starting construction and with 24.28 million units basically completed. The central government provided a subsidy of 127.1 billion yuan for redevelopment of dilapidated buildings in rural areas nationwide, with 15.24 million housing units redeveloped, exceeding the planned target by more than 200 percent.
（3) Right to social security
The social security system has been further improved. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security issued regulations including the Provisions on the Administration of Declaration and Payment of Social Insurance Premiums and the Administrative Measure for Assessing the Work Capacity of Employees Sustaining Work-Related Injuries. In 2014, the old-age insurance system for urban residents and the new rural old-age insurance system were unified and implemented, creating a unified national basic old-age insurance system for both urban and rural residents. By the end of 2015, the number of people underwriting the old-age insurance had reached 858 million, including 505 million for the basic old-age insurance and 353 million for the urban employees' basic pension insurance, exceeding the planned target. 31 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government) established unified planning for employees' basic pension insurance system. Enterprise retirees' basic pensions increased by about 10 percent annually for 5 consecutive years and the per capita monthly basic pension increased to more than 2,240 yuan in 2015 from 1,362 yuan in 2010.
The basic medical insurance coverage has been extended to all citizens, with the rate of participation surpassing 95 percent. By the end of 2014, the number of people subscribing to new rural cooperative medical insurance policies reached 736 million, with the rate of participation staying at 99 percent, exceeding the planned target ahead of schedule. By the end of 2014, the number of people subscribing to medical insurance for urban employees, medical insurance for urban residents and new rural cooperative medical insurance policies had exceeded 1.33 billion, an increase of over 60 million compared with that of 2010, fulfilling the planned target ahead of schedule. Per capita funding for medical insurance increased to 515 yuan in 2015, from 164 yuan in 2010, with the government grant increasing to 380 yuan for each person in 2015 from 120 yuan in 2010, exceeding the planned target. 80 percent, 70 percent and 75 percent of patients' medical treatment costs covered by urban employees' medical insurance, urban residents' medical insurance and new rural cooperative medical insurance respectively will be reimbursed. The new rural cooperative medical insurance system has generally established unified planning for outpatients to cover over 50 percent of their expenses.
Coverage of unemployment insurance, work-related injury insurance and maternity insurance continued to expand. By the end of 2015, the number of subscribers to unemployment insurance had reached 173 million, exceeding the planned target ahead of schedule. 7 provinces realized unified planning for unemployment insurance at the provincial level while all or some of the cities in 21 provinces and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps achieved unified planning at the city level. By the end of 2015, the number of subscribers to work-related injury insurance had reached 214 million. Unified planning for work-related injury insurance at the city level was basically in place while 10 provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the central government) issued measures for unified planning at the provincial level. By the end of 2015, the number of people subscribing to maternity insurance had reached 178 million, exceeding the planned target.
The level of social assistance has steadily improved. By the end of 2015, per capita monthly subsidies for subsistence in urban and rural areas had reached 451 yuan and 264.8 yuan respectively, an average annual increase of 10 percent. The per capita annual subsistence allowance for rural residents enjoying the "Five Guarantees" (food, clothing, medical care, housing and burial expenses) under collective care reached 6,026 yuan while the figure for those under individual care stood at 4,490 yuan, an increase of 48.4 percent and 49.3 percent respectively compared with 2012. 84.06 million people received medical assistance nationwide, with a total expenditure of 27.4 billion yuan. The one-stop settlement model was in place for medical assistance expenses in 92 percent of all areas around the country.
(4) Right to health
The conditions for health care and medical security have further improved. By the end of 2015, China had trained 173,000 general practitioners through job-transfer training, on-the-job training and standardized training, more than achieving its planned goal. The average life expectancy reached 76.34 years - higher than the planned standard.
Public health services are guaranteed in a more comprehensive way. A law on mental health has been adopted and enforced. Efforts have been made to carry out the Development Guidelines for the National Mental Health Work System (2008-2015) and strengthen the construction of a mental health service system. A nationwide program has been implemented to screen, diagnose, register and visit those who suffer from severe mental problems. By the end of 2015, 4.922 million mentally ill people had been registered around the country, accounting for 85.5 percent of all such patients. The per-capita spending for public health services was raised to 40 yuan by 2015 from 25 yuan in 2011. Urban and rural residents were entitled to such free services as establishing health records, and receiving health education and vaccination. The world's biggest direct Internet reporting system has been set up for infectious diseases and public health emergencies. A total of 265 demonstration areas have been established for the comprehensive prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, managing over 86 million people suffering from high blood pressure and over 24 million diabetics. A border prevention and control system was established that integrates risk assessment, on-site quarantines, laboratory testing, information disclosure and joint prevention and control. By June 2014, a total of 259 ports of entry in operation had been evaluated and accepted, greatly raising the abilities for disease prevention and control and the handling of emergencies at ports of entry.
The prevention of endemic diseases has been enhanced. The goal of eliminating iodine deficiency diseases has been realized. In areas with a high incidence of endemic fluorosis caused by coal burning, preventive measures have been adopted with 99.4 percent of the coal-burning furnaces and stoves modified. China has basically completed projects to provide safe drinking water and improve water quality in areas afflicted by endemic fluorosis and arseniasis which are caused mainly by unsafe drinking water. An investigation into the regional distribution of endemic arseniasis has been completed, and measures aimed at modifying furnaces and stoves or improving water quality by reducing arsenic have been basically implemented. Comprehensive prevention and control measures have been taken including the relocation of residents from areas afflicted by Kaschin-Beck and Keshan diseases and the consumption of foodstuffs from non-endemic areas. By the end of 2014, over 90 percent of the villages afflicted by Kaschin-Beck disease had brought the disease under control, and 96.4 percent of the counties where Keshan disease remained an endemic had also brought it under control, achieving the planned goals in advance.
The safety of drinking water has been further ensured. By the end of 2015, China had expanded a monitoring network for the safety of drinking water, and extended its coverage to all urban districts and over 60 percent of townships. Between 2011 and 2015, as many as 298 million rural residents and 41.33 million rural teachers and students had access to safe drinking water, and meanwhile, efforts were made to make safe drinking water accessible to 5.66 million rural people in particularly difficult areas including ethnic Tibetan areas in the provinces of Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan. The proportion of the rural population with access to centralized water supply was raised from 58 percent in 2010 to 82 percent in 2015, with tap water available to 76 percent of rural areas. All the progress made exceeded the planned goals.
Food and drug safety measures have been enhanced. The China Food and Drug Administration was established in 2013. In 2015, the NPC Standing Committee amended the country's food safety law, and the departments concerned laid down a series of departmental regulations including the Provisions for the Administration of Food Business Licensing, the Provisions for the Administration of Quality and Safety Monitoring for the Sale of Edible Agricultural Products and the Administrative Procedures for Food Recalls. The Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate promulgated the Explanations on a Certain Number of Issues Relating to the Application of Laws to Criminal Cases Harming Food Safety and the Provisions on a Certain Number of Issues Relating to the Application of Laws on Cases of Disputes over Food and Drugs. Nearly 5,000 criteria for various kinds of foodstuffs were reviewed and 683 state criteria for food safety were promulgated.
The NPC Standing Committee authorized the State Council to launch pilot schemes in certain regions aiming to establish a system of permit-holders for the sale of pharmaceuticals. The State Council also revised the Regulations for the Supervision and Administration of Medical Devices. The China Food and Drug Administration has reviewed and issued a series of regulations including the Provisions for the Supervision and Management of Medical Device Production, the Provisions for the Supervision and Management of Medical Device Operation, the Regulations on the Quality of Operation of Pharmaceutical Products and the Provisions for the Flight Check of Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices. An action plan was carried out to raise the national standards for drugs and medical devices, which led to the formulation of 4,368 criteria for pharmaceuticals and 562 criteria for medical devices. From 2011 to 2015, more than 720,000 cases in violation of drug administration provisions were handled. About 36,000 criminal cases involving pharmaceuticals were resolved.
Public sports facilities for national fitness have been improved. The National Fitness Program (2011-2015) has been carried out in full. The number of sports venues of various kinds exceeded 1.69 million, with a per-capita sports area reaching 1.57 square meters, which is bigger than the target size. By the end of 2014, national fitness centers had been built in over 50 percent of the country's cities and counties (districts); practical fitness equipment had been installed in over 50 percent of neighborhoods (townships), urban communities and rural administrative villages. Both goals were achieved ahead of schedule.
(5) Right to education
Figure 6: The Growth of Enrollment Rate at the Various Stages of Basic Education between 2012 and 2015
The Outline of the State Medium- and Long-term Program on Education Reform and Development (2010-2020) has been steadily implemented. In 2015, the NPC Standing Committee amended and promulgated the Education Law and the Higher Education Law. During the year, the net enrollment rate in primary schools was 99.88 percent, gross enrollment rate in junior high schools reached 104 percent, and 93 percent of the students enrolled eventually completed their nine-year compulsory education.
Pre-school education has been further developed. A 3-year action plan was implemented for the first and second stage pre-school education. Between 2012 and 2015, the central government appropriated 62.1 billion yuan for pre-school education development mainly in rural areas of central and western China to accelerate the construction of pre-school education networks in counties, townships and villages, and award and subsidize local governments in helping preschoolers, orphans and disabled children of poverty-stricken families enroll in kindergartens. In 2015, there were 223,700 kindergartens throughout the country serving 42.6483 million children. As a result, 75 percent of the children who would be starting school in three years were enrolled in kindergartens. The planned goal of having 65 percent of such children enrolled in kindergartens was achieved ahead of schedule.
An equal right to education for relocated children of migrant workers has been safeguarded. Between 2012 and 2015, the central government appropriated 34.6 billion yuan cumulatively to enable nearly 90 percent of relocated children of migrant workers in cities to obtain government financial support. For children of those migrant workers who meet the conditions of the local governments receiving them, tuition fees for public schools in cities they migrate to and additional charges for transient schooling were abolished. In 2015, there were 13.671 million children eligible for compulsory education who had relocated with their migrant worker parents to cities. 80 percent of them studied at public schools. Various local governments also actively arranged for these children to study at inclusive non-government funded schools through service purchase and other means. By the end of 2015, 29 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government) had begun to make their college entrance exams open to the children of migrant workers from other regions. Altogether, nearly 80,000 children of migrant workers took the college entrance exams in cities they had migrated to.
The conditions for running schools in poverty-stricken regions have improved. Between 2012 and 2015, the central government appropriated 102 billion yuan cumulatively to support schools deficient in compulsory education. In November 2014, the government departments concerned jointly issued a circular on unifying the standards of staffing in urban and rural primary and secondary schools, which made the standards of staffing for primary and secondary schools in rural counties and townships accord with those of their counterparts in cities, with a preferential treatment given to remote and poor regions. Between 2012 and 2015, the central government invested 14.04 billion yuan in constructing 244,000 dormitory rooms for rural teachers, which could accommodate 300,000 teachers. Between 2013 and 2015, the central government (as well as Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps) appropriated 4.392 billion yuan cumulatively for living subsidies for rural teachers in contiguous areas of extreme poverty, benefiting more than 1 million people.
The development of education in central and western regions has accelerated. The central government allocated 10 billion yuan to support the enhancement of basic capabilities for about 100 local colleges in 24 provinces and autonomous regions of central and western China (including the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps). Another 5.6 billion yuan was set aside to support the establishment of one local institution of higher learning in each of the 13 provinces and autonomous regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps where there was not a single college affiliated to the Ministry of Education. Efforts were made to implement a collaborative plan to pair-up support for college enrollment in central and western regions. In this way, regions with rich education resources shifted part of their enrollment quota to central and western regions where the enrollment rate was low, and also to densely populated provinces. Between 2012 and 2015, a total of 755,000 students were enrolled into colleges through quota reallocation under the collaborative plan. The provincial gap in college enrollment has narrowed year on year.
The education conditions in senior high schools and vocational schools have improved steadily. Between 2012 and 2015, the central government appropriated 12 billion yuan as subsidies for standard senior high schools in central and western China and 1,542 schools in contiguous areas of extreme poverty to improve the conditions for running schools, benefiting more than 6 million students at school. The central and local governments have jointly allocated funds to establish state grants for standard senior high schools, which averaged 1,500 yuan for each recipient annually and increased to 2,000 yuan at the start of the spring term in 2015.
Between 2012 and 2013, the central government appropriated 1.4 billion yuan in special funds annually to support the building of 1,500 training bases for vocational education. During the 2012-2015 period, the National Development and Reform Commission arranged more than 17 billion yuan in special funds to support the enhancement of basic capabilities in 1,814 secondary vocational schools. The state also invested 2.3 billion yuan in carrying out a plan aimed at raising the quality of teachers in vocational colleges and schools. By the end of 2015, the state had arranged for more than 340,000 teachers in vocational colleges and schools to attend systematic training; succeeded in having 580 large and medium-sized enterprises participate in the training of teachers; and completed the construction of 300 sites providing specially-designed courses to train vocational teachers. Between 2012 and 2015, the central government appropriated 41.7 billion yuan as subsidies for the implementation of a tuition fee waiver program in secondary vocational schools, under which the tuition fees for all rural students, urban students who major in agriculture and those poverty-stricken students at full-time secondary vocational schools were abolished. State grant scholarships were also given to first and second-year students of full-time colleges majoring in agriculture and those not majoring in agriculture, but who come from poverty-stricken families. The annual subsidy for each recipient was 1,500 yuan in 2013, which was raised to 2,000 yuan in 2015, covering nearly 40 percent of the students.
The financial support policies in general institutions of higher learning for students from poor families have been strengthened. Since July 2014, student loans offered by the state have been adjusted to a maximum of 8,000 yuan annually for each full-time undergraduate or college student and up to 12,000 yuan annually for each full-time graduate student. Since July 2015, all interest on loans for students has been paid through financial subsidies with a maximum term extended to 20 years. Since the autumn term of 2014, a new state grant policy for full-time graduate students has been implemented, with no less than 10,000 yuan for each doctor degree candidate annually and no less than 6,000 yuan for each master degree candidate.
(6) Cultural rights
Figure 7: The number of public cultural facilities in parts of China between 2012 and 2015
Public cultural facilities have been further improved. By the end of 2015, China had built 3,139 public libraries, 3,315 cultural centers, 40,976 cultural stations, 4,692 museums and 409 science and technology museums. Between 2012 and 2015, the central government invested 20.3 billion yuan cumulatively to support the free admission to public cultural facilities. By the end of 2015, the number of museums open to the public free of charge had reached 4,013. The central government has invested 9.223 billion yuan to make sure that radio and TV broadcasts basically cover all villages with no more than 20 households each and where electricity is available. As part of a cultural information resource sharing project, China has built 35,500 service centers and sub-centers in cities and townships and service stations at the grassroots level covering 700,000 villages and communities, which are able to share digital resources amounting to 532 TB, surpassing the planned goal. China has established 600,449 farmers' libraries, and sent more than 1 billion books and periodicals to rural areas. The country has also built 24,000 satellite digital farmers' libraries and 252 rural digital movie lines, and organized more than 50,000 movie projection teams. Satellite digital movies basically covered 640,000 administrative villages with over 9 million movie screenings purchased annually.
Figure 8: Internet construction between 2012 and 2015
Internet construction has provided more convenient conditions for citizens to enjoy cultural rights. At the end of 2015, 688 million people had access to the Internet, covering 50.3 percent of China's population, surpassing the planned goal of 45 percent. The fixed broadband users and households reached 210 million. The internet broadband ports reached 470 million, exceeding the planned goal of 370 million. Fiber optic Internet connection covered 446 million households, surpassing the planned goal by more than 100 percent.
(7) Environmental rights
China has amended the Law on Environmental Protection, with special provisions on information transparency and public participation to guarantee the public's right to be informed, participate and supervise and provisions for improving the public interest litigation system to provide related social groups with the right to launch public interest litigations and strengthen the system of accountability.
Heavy metal pollution has effectively been brought under control. Between 2010 and 2015, the central government appropriated 17.2 billion yuan to support control over heavy metal pollution. In 2014, the total pollutant discharge of 5 major heavy metals including lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and the metalloid element - arsenic, decreased by 20 percent as compared with that in 2007. The number of heavy metal pollution incidents decreased from more than 10 annually on average between 2010 and 2011 to an annual average of less than 3 between 2012 and 2015.
The capability for water pollution treatment has increased. In April 2015, the State Council announced "action plan for water pollution prevention and control". The percentage of inferior class V surface water decreased from 35.7 percent in 2001 to 8.8 percent in 2015. During the 2011-2015 period, sewage treatment capacity increased by an additional 48 million tons per day. In 2015, 97.1 percent of the drinking water from centralized supply sources in 338 cities at the prefecture level and above met the quality standard.
Efforts for air quality control have been boosted. In August 2015, China amended the law on air pollution prevention and control, made improving atmospheric quality as its goal, emphasized government responsibilities and improved measures targeted towards controlling air pollution. Between 2011 and 2015, the emissions of 4 major pollutants including chemical oxygen demand, ammonia nitrogen, sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide decreased 12.9 percent, 13.0 percent, 18.0 percent and 18.6 percent respectively. In September 2013, the State Council distributed the Action Plan on Air Pollution Prevention and Control, in which it clarified comprehensive treatment measures composed of 10 articles and 35 items, focusing on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and inhalable particles (PM10). In 2015, all cities at the prefecture level and above adopted new environmental and air quality standards. China built the largest air quality monitoring network among all developing countries with 338 cities at the prefecture level and above across the country having the capability of monitoring 6 indices including PM2.5. Efforts were made to strengthen the standardization of energy conservation and low carbon. During the 2011-2015 period, the government implemented a project involving the formation and improvement of 100 important energy-saving standards and approved the release of 205 energy-saving state criteria. In 2015, the General Office of the State Council issued the guidelines on strengthening the standardization of energy conservation. The government approved the emissions standards for 10 industries that produce greenhouse gases including steel, iron and cement and issued the phase 5 national standards for automobile fuel.
Ecosystem construction has been further pushed forward. With the establishment of the State Committee on Biodiversity Protection, the Ministry of Environmental Protection issued China's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (2011-2030), and started China's Action for United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. Between 2011 and 2015, China invested 89.8 billion yuan in projects for the conservation of natural forest resources, and put 1.08 million square kilometers of natural forests under effective protection. Efforts were made to continually push forward the construction of key forest shelterbelts in northeast, north and northwest China, the control over the sources of sandstorms affecting Beijing and Tianjin, the comprehensive treatment of stony desertification in karst areas, the key ecological projects of pastureland rehabilitation and the launch of a new round of projects to return farmland back to forestry and pastureland. Between 2011 and 2015, China had already built a localized biodiversity protection network with nature reserves acting as the backbone. The area of established nature reserves reached 1.47 million square kilometers, accounting for 14.84 percent of the country's total land area. Over 90 percent of the country' s land ecosystems, 89 percent of wildlife species under state protection and 86 percent of wild plant species under state protection were conserved in nature reserves. By the end of 2015, China's forest coverage reached 21.66 percent. More than 260,000 square kilometers of land suffering from soil erosion had been treated, which was more than the projected figure. By the end of 2014, the national greenery coverage in urban areas was 40.22 percent, surpassing the planned goal ahead of schedule.
Efforts were made to continually strengthen the enforcement of environmental laws and an accountability system. To implement and put into effect the newly amended Law on Environmental Protection and a circular issued by the General Office of the State Council on strengthening environmental protection supervision, environment monitoring bodies across the country actively innovated with new methods and modes of supervision and law enforcement, and successively carried out targeted actions and inspections on environmental protection and cracked down severely on environmental law violations and environmental pollution crimes, and effectively safeguarded the environmental rights of the public. A compensation system for the damage to the ecosystem has been further improved.