Fourth, we have strengthened eco-environment protection and improved our city governance
Guided by the National Conference on Environmental Protection, we have closely followed the changes in the mix of air pollution, and placed equal importance on emission reduction through treatment projects and stronger regulation. We have drawn up a three-year action plan for protecting the blue sky, and tackled with perseverance pollutions caused by diesel-powered trucks, dusting and volatile organic compounds (VOC). Government departments at all levels have specific environmental responsibilities and are kept under pressure through "weekly ranking, monthly notification and quarterly report".
We have taken off roads 47,000 diesel trucks of National Standard III . The low-emission zone has been expanded to cover the entire city, and the ratio of detected excessive emission vehicles to all vehicles checked for emission has risen to 15%. We have built a network for monitoring coarse particles in all sub-districts of the city and rural townships. The application of new techniques in road cleaning has reached 89%. We have realized precision law enforcement through satellite remote sensing that identifies the hot spots of pollution, and conducted special law enforcement inspections on automobile repair shops and open-air barbeques. The VOC discharge of key industrial sectors has been reduced by 2,000 tons. Clean energy has replaced coal in 450 villages and coal is basically no longer used in plain areas, with clean and high-quality energy accounting for over 96% of the energy mix. We have revised and implemented contingency plans for heavy air pollution, trying to nip problems in the bud, and managed to cap the peak value and slow the growth of pollutant concentration.
We have carried out a "Clean River Campaign" and a special campaign of water source protection, and cleaned up 84 black, stingy water bodies in the non-built-up areas. The city's sewage treatment rate has reached 93%, and the water quality of key water functional areas has met the national evaluation standards. The groundwater table in plain areas picked up by nearly two meters, and the water storage in the Miyun Reservoir surpassed 2.5 billion cubic meters. We have built six waste disposal facilities including the Lujiashan Kitchen Waste Treatment Plant. The coverage of waste sorting demonstration areas has reached 30%, and household waste recycling rate 58%. We have finished a detailed survey on farmland soil pollution, and basically completed building the soil environment monitoring network. We have launched a new round of one million mu (66,667 hectares) plain area afforestation project, and already added another 269,000 mu (17,930 hectares) of green areas.
We have taken comprehensive measures to improve traffic--by controlling demands, optimizing supply and strengthening regulation. As a result, we have stopped congestions from worsening. We have implemented regulations on parking of motor vehicles, and increased law enforcement efforts and frequency. We have realized electronic fee collection for roadside parking on roads above collector-road level in all areas of Dongcheng, Xicheng and Tongzhou Districts. We have completed the annual tasks of easing congestions by taking differentiated measures in 345 frequently congested sections, and traffic conditions in most congested sections, such as the Central Business District and Zhongguancun Software Park, have continued to improve.
To resolve the difficulty of hailing taxis and improve the poor conditions of waiting halls experienced by railway passengers, we have carried out 71 rectification tasks at Beijing South Railway Station, Beijing West Railway Station and Beijing Railway Station, and the overall environment in railway stations have gradually improved. We have improved transfers between subways and bus stations, adjusted 93 bus lines, and added 89 customized lines. As a result, the passenger volume of ground public transport has stopped falling.
We have introduced regulations on the management of non-motor vehicles, carried out special campaigns to crack down on the sales of electric motorcycles against regulations, and removed 9,500-plus such motorcycles from market. We have responded to people's demands in a timely manner, installed street lamps on 174 road sections, and optimized the signal timings of 2,700-plus traffic lights. Three new rail transit lines have been opened, including the western extension of Subway Line 6, and the mileage of rail transit lines has totaled 636.8 kilometers. A bike-sharing supervision and service platform has been put into operation, and the ratio of green commuting has reached 73% in downtown.
We have advanced the reform to introduce a "community whistle" mechanism at the sub-district and township level, by which the local authority may "summon" law enforcement officers in case of emergency. The mechanism has been tried out in 169 sub-districts and townships of the 16 districts, with a view to exploring an emergency response mechanism at the community level, a mechanism for responding to people's needs, and a working mechanism that solves the "last mile" problem. This experiment has been appreciated by the CPC Central Committee for Deepening Overall Reform. We have put into action Beijing's "big data" action plan, and completed the overall concept plan. We have encouraged municipal departments to upload government data to the cloud as much as possible, and conducted trial use of big data in areas like urban planning, construction and management. We have proceeded, on the basis of "12345" hotline, to integrate government service hotlines. We have created an effective channel for citizen participation in city governance through the public policy dialogue program "A Step Forward".
Fifth, we have implemented the rural revitalization strategy, and adopted consistent measures for targeted poverty alleviation.
With rural revitalization strategy featuring prominently on our agenda, we have carried out a three-year action plan for developing "beautiful villages".
Development plans have been compiled for 71 pilot villages, setting examples for all villages in Beijing. We have set up demonstration areas for implementing the initiative of "properly building, managing, maintaining and operating rural roads"; upgraded more than 510 public toilets in the rural area; and improved the living environment of 1,081 villages. Keeping in mind lessons drawn from the illegal construction of villas in the Qinling Mountains, we have rectified "green shelters", and advanced the special campaign against illegal occupation of land and illegal constructions in shallow-mountain areas.
We have taken coordinated measures to push forward rural reforms such as separating rural land ownership, contractual rights and use rights, and the reuse of vacant rural houses. We have basically completed reforms of state-owned forest farms. We have set up a demonstration area for top-quality, safe, green agricultural produce in Beijing, and Pinggu District has been given the green light to build a national modern agro-technology park. We have launched measures for promoting eco-protection and green development of eco-conservation areas. Paired assistance between plain and mountain areas, between municipal state-owned enterprises, colleges and universities and low-income villages has resulted in low-income rural households' income growing faster than the city's average.
We have implemented the strategic plan of the central government for poverty alleviation collaboration between the eastern and western regions. Focusing on targeted poverty alleviation, we have gone deep into the assisted areas to better understand their needs, and put into effect a three-year action plan for deepening poverty alleviation collaboration. We have stepped up assistance in key areas such as funding, projects, human resources, industrial development, employment, health care and education, with total investment of 5.95 billion yuan and 928 projects kicked off. We have carried out the campaign of "hand-in-hand for prosperity", and engaged multiple players including businesses and social organizations in poverty reduction. During the year, we helped lift out of poverty over 600,000 people in the assisted regions.
Sixth, we have continued to improve people's well-being and enhanced their "sense of benefit".
We have completed all 31 key projects for improving people's well-being, including installing lifts for old buildings. Keeping in mind that "housing is for living in, not for speculation", we have maintained our strategic resolve in macro-control of the real estate market, and kept the price of market housing stable. During the year, 32,300 units of public rental housing and 29,000 units of "shared ownership housing" were allocated, among which 30% were available to eligible families with non-Beijing household registration. We have over-fulfilled our annual targets, with another 54,500 units of government-subsidized housing under construction, and renovation for 34,300 homes in rundown areas completed.
We have improved mechanisms for determining and regularly adjusting the pension benefits of urban and rural residents, and added 182 elderly-care service stations. We have established an allowance and subsidy system for home-based elderly service, and expanded the age-bracket of the elderly entitled to free or discounted services from above 65 to above 60. By consolidating assistance policies for people in need, we have established a sound social assistance system at the district and sub-district/township levels. Through improved policy for employment and entrepreneurship, another 423,000 people have found jobs in the urban area, and 64,000 rural workers have taken up employment in non-agricultural sectors. A first batch of 6,019 people have obtained permanent resident status in Beijing through the point-based household registration system.
We have implemented guidelines from the National Education Conference, and deepened institutional reforms in education. We have launched the third-phase action plan for pre-school education, significantly increased fiscal input in it, and added another 30,000 places at kindergartens. We have set up a full-time inspection team to strengthen supervision of kindergartens. We have enhanced guidance on educational groups running multiple primary or secondary schools and on the “school district” system. We have started "Post-15:30" after-school services for primary and junior high school students, and launched a special campaign to regulate after-school tutoring institutions. We have supported and regulated the development of private education. We have optimized allocation of educational resources, and started construction of high-quality schools in key areas.
We have deepened the comprehensive reform to separate drug prescription and dispensing. The hierarchical diagnosis and treatment system has been proven effective. We have created 34 tightly-knit medical alliances . Medical services provided at Beijing's Grade-I hospitals and community-level medical institutions have grown by nearly 30%, while outpatient and emergency patient numbers at Grade-III hospitals have dropped by 8%.
More than 95% of cafeterias in primary and secondary schools, kindergartens and elderly care institutions have completed the "Sunshine Catering" project. We have cracked down on illegal one-day tours, bringing down complaints by 67% compared to the previous year, and resulting in much better order in the tourism industry. To step up the pro-people cultural programs, we have given subsidies to commercial performances so that they can offer low-price tickets, and given rental subsidy to 151 brick-and-mortar bookstores. We have set up 60 "fitness-for-all" demonstration sub-districts and "sports towns", and facilitated development of the "close-to-home" public fitness project . We have successfully held the 15th Games of Beijing and the First Winter Games of Beijing, and won the bid to host the 2020 SportAccord Convention.
We have implemented a three-year action plan for eliminating city safety hazards, carried out comprehensive rectification of 100 peri-urban places that are on the city-level “blacklist” for poor order, and eliminated over 26,000 safety hazards at "three-in-one" places and high-risk "group lease" apartments . The number of workplace accidents of all kinds involving deaths has dropped by 18.5%. Our flood prevention and disaster reduction work has stood the test of multiple torrential downpours, with safety ensured and more water collected.
We have intensified efforts to ensure a safe Beijing, mounted special crackdowns on gangsterism and crimes, and launched special campaigns to address outstanding problems in public security. We have stepped up efforts to detect and defuse social tensions, and thus maintained harmony and stability in the capital. We have supported reforms in national defense and armed forces, assisted the armed forces based in Beijing as they ended all paid services, strengthened national defense mobilization and carried out "double-honors and co-building" . We have achieved fruitful results in integrated development of civilian and military technologies. Social programs for women, children and people with disabilities have made new headway; and work related to ethnic minorities, religion, and overseas Chinese has been intensified.
Over the past year, Beijing has performed its functions as the national capital, and successfully provided services to the "two sessions" and the 2018 Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). We have by and large completed construction of the venues and facilities for 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Expo, and achieved the objective of "double 100"—inviting at least 100 official participants and another 100 non-official participants, thus laying a good foundation for opening the Expo as scheduled.
Over the past year, we have made solid progress in preparing for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. At the closing of the Pyeongchang Olympic and Paralympic Games, we took over the flag and put on a successful cultural show. We have accelerated construction of new venues such as the National Speed Skating Oval and the National Alpine Ski Center, and started transformation of existing ones such as the National Aquatics Center and the National Indoor Stadium. In the meantime, we have been advancing construction of infrastructure such as the Beijing-Zhangjiakou Intercity Railway and Yanchong Expressway, and have completed Xingyan Expressway. We have formulated plans for test events and are now pressing ahead with Olympic marketing on all fronts. We have rolled out the “Olympic for All” public participation program and successfully held the third World Winter Sports (Beijing) Expo, stoking greater passion for the Winter Olympics.
Over the past year, we have studied and observed the Constitution, implemented the Supervision Law, and practiced law-based governance. In total, we have formulated, revised or abolished 49 administrative rules, submitted 6 local regulations to the Standing Committee of the Municipal People's Congress for approval, processed 4 motions (yi'an) and 931 suggestions (jianyi) made by deputies to the Municipal People's Congress, and 941 proposals (ti'an) offered by the Municipal CPPCC Committee members. We have implemented without compromise the plan for institutional restructuring as approved by the CPC Central Committee, and basically completed the restructuring of city-level institutions. We have promoted research and investigations. We have set up "meeting-free weeks" , and increased unannounced visits and field studies. We have set up special task forces to make sure key plans and priorities are carried out. We have stepped up efforts to build a clean government, strictly followed the central Party leadership’s eight-point decision on improving Party and government conduct and its rules of implementation, and measures of the Municipal Party Committee for implementing the said decision and rules, resolutely guarded against relapses of the "four habits", and strengthened auditing and supervision, so as to foster an honest and righteous political climate.
Given the complex international environment and heavy domestic agenda to balance development, reform and stability, these achievements are indeed hard-won. They are attributable to the strong leadership by the CPC Central Committee led by General-Secretary Xi Jinping, and the well-conceived guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. They are also the result of hard work and concerted efforts by the entire city under the leadership of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee.
Here, on behalf of the People's Government of Beijing Municipality, I would like to express our gratitude to all people of Beijing, to deputies of the Municipal People's Congress and members of the CPPCC Beijing Municipal Committee, to other political parties, to people's organizations and personages from all sectors of society, to all CPC central organs and central government departments, to other municipalities, provinces, and autonomous regions, to officers as well as rank-and-file members of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and the People’s Armed Police Force based in Beijing, and to our fellow countrymen and women in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, and to overseas Chinese and international friends who have cared for and given support to the capital's development.
Meanwhile, we should also keep in mind that China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development and will remain so for a long time to come, and Beijing is at a crucial stage of city renewal and high-quality growth, a stage in which opportunities come with challenges. The main issues are as follows:
Long-term and structural problems remain, such as tensions between the population size, available resources and the environmental capacity. Despite stable economic growth, the downward pressure leads to gaps between fiscal revenue and expenditure. Proprietary innovation is inadequate and divorced from industrial innovation. The role of technological innovation in driving growth is inadequate.
The supply-side structural reform has not been completed, service quality needs to be enhanced, and the potential of consumption upgrading hasn't been fully tapped. Our understanding, ability and level of opening-up are inadequate for a capital city of a major country.
"Big-city" syndromes remain acute, and law-based, refined and participatory governance needs to be strengthened. Due to serious problems of uneven and inadequate development, public services are not able to satisfy people's expectations for a convenient, livable, and enriched life in a just and secure society. Development between urban and rural areas and among regions needs to be better coordinated.
Practices of unjustified formalities and bureaucracy still exist in the government, the sense of self-discipline needs to be heightened, and our competency and work culture need to be improved. We must take these issues seriously and find effective solutions.