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Focus on the Two Sessions

 The Two Sessions

The “Two Sessions”, a term used for the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), are held every March in Beijing in the Great Hall of the People. This year, the CPPCC began on March 3, while the NPC commenced on March 5. 

Li Jiajun, Liu Changjun, Zhang Fengbao and Zhang Shuibo from Tianjin University (TJU) participated in the sessions. Their viewpoints resonate inside and outside the conference hall. 

Li Jiajun, a deputy to the NPC and Secretary of the Party Committee at TJU, expressed his views on biosafety. He told the reporter that as a rapidly developing emerging economy, China is facing severe biosafety challenges. It is urgent that the government strengthen biosafety capabilities, build a systematic national biosafety system, and effectively guard against biological threats to people's livelihood, economic development, the ecological environment and military security. 

Therefore, he proposed that we should do the following: accelerate the strategic layout of biological security and reinforce biological monitoring and warning capabilities; build a more robust biosafety supervision system to realize the coordination of control, management and development; improve biosafety legislation and policy to safeguard healthy development of biotechnology; push for multilateral biological arms control; strengthen talent cultivation and international cooperation and enhance the ability to respond to biological threats. 

He also told the reporters about the construction of the TJU Xiong’an New Area Innovation Institute in an interview. TJU will construct the TJU Xiong’an New Area Innovation Institute to pursue the coordinated development of the three regions. As TJU’s resident office in Xiong'an, the institute will merge into the construction of Xiong’an New Area in all directions. 

In the past five years, TJU has carried out more than 800 scientific and technological cooperation projects with Hebei Province, covering the fields of chemical industry, advanced manufacturing, biomedicine, energy and environment. It has founded several industry technology innovation strategic alliance and joint research centers with relevant companies in Hebei Province, promoting the transfer of science and technology (S&T) achievements to Hebei Province. 

Li said that this year TJU will take part in the implementation and deepening of the comprehensive strategic cooperation with the Xiong’an New Area. We will fully apply our advantages in architecture, environment and other related disciplines and offer better service in urban construction planning, conservation and management of ecological environment, comprehensive utilization of energy and other related S&T programs. We will also continue to make more progress in the construction of the green smart city and the livable eco-city in Xiong’an New Area. Meanwhile, we will encourage technologies, talents, and other innovative factors to the area to accelerate the construction of high-level S&T research platforms and S&T public service platforms, to actively participate in the national platform construction and to support innovation-driven development in the area. 

Liu Changjun, Zhang Fengbao and Zhang Shuibo are the members of the national committee of the CPPCC. They also expressed their opinions on some hot issues during this period. 

Liu Changjun, Director of the Advanced Nano-technology Research Center of the School of Chemical Engineering and Technology at TJU, Changjiang Scholar Distinguished Professor, recommended in his proposal that the government should improve the urban non-motorized traffic system infrastructure led by shared bicycles so as to make the best use of these bikes and facilitate travel conditions for citizens.  

The proposal pointed out that bicycle sharing is increasingly becoming an important choice for residents. It accounts for 5% of the total urban transit operation in some cities and plays a vital role in serving residents, improving traffic conditions, conserving energy and reducing emissions. However, it is also faced with some challenges to its development such as lack of accommodation lanes and berths, and standard management modes. 

Therefore, he suggested that, on the one hand, relevant laws and regulations should be formulated and shared bikes should be used and managed in accordance with laws and regulations; on the other hand, we should better protect the property rights of enterprises and establish a mutual communication mechanism between government, companies and consumers to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of consumers and enterprises and promote healthy and stable development of enterprises. What’s more, shared bicycles should also be incorporated into the development system of urban transportation system to help accelerate the construction of an urban non-motorized traffic system. We should also set industry standards to set parking areas in line with local conditions and explore new parking methods such as smart stereo garages. 

Liu also expressed his viewpoint on education when interviewed by reporters. He pointed out that higher education resources are seriously insufficient in under-developed areas such as old revolutionary base areas, minority areas and border areas. Therefore, we should place great importance on the development of higher education in these areas in the process of targeted poverty alleviation, formulate medium and long-term plans and put it on the priority list of targeted poverty alleviation by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance. In the provinces without higher education institutions directly administrated by Ministry of Education, we should set up at least one or two such institutions in order to solve the problem of unbalanced distribution of colleges and universities under the administration of the Ministry of Education. Additionally, we should accelerate the development of higher education in these undeveloped areas, increase the admission rate of college entrance examinations and promote rapid and healthy economic and social development. Moreover, we should take effective measures to encourage private capital to participate in the construction of higher education institutions directly operated by the Ministry of Education in the undeveloped areas to solve capital shortage.   

Zhang Fengbao, Vice President and Professor at TJU, gave his opinion about vaccines. In an interview with reporters, Zhang Fengbao suggested that supervision departments refer to the production standards of aviation supplies and implement a “seven-special products” model in vaccine manufacturing. The “seven-special” refers to “special staff, special machines, special materials, special batch, special inspection, special checkpoints and special routes”. The core of this model is that for products with high technical maturity, even the smallest screw can be traced back to its producers.  

“The punishment measures for illegal manufacturers should be in accordance with that of the military industry, which will be more effective in deterring those unscrupulous manufacturers,” Zhang Fengbao said. He also proposed that the hardware construction of vaccination sites should be promoted and vaccine rapid testing rooms should be set up in some qualified organization as soon as possible. All the vaccines should undergo sampling tests before injection and their own testing records and archives should be checked with that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) at a higher level before they are qualified to be injected. If there are any problems during the tests, the testing personnel can quickly check the testing files from the CDCP and vaccination departments so that they can clarify responsibilities and facilitate tracing.  

Zhang Shuibo, Dean of the School of International Project Management at TJU, talked about employment during an interview.  

“We are still facing great employment pressure this year. The total employment remains high, while the structural contradiction in employment is still prominent,” said Zhang Shuibo. The number of college graduates is expected to reach a new record of 8.34 million. In the supply-side structural reform, employees from some companies which are closed, suspended, merged or transferred should be resettled and helped to find a new job. 

The government should reduce burdens on enterprises, increase their vitality and keep the “main force” in employment.“Only by creating a better business environment and reducing the burdens on companies can we promote healthy development of companies and attract more job seekers,” said Zhang Shuibo. 

We should also create more public welfare jobs to strengthen the bottom line for practitioners. “It is difficult for workers who are old, disabled or on subsistence allowance to find a job. So, we should offer basic needs and employment assistance to these people,” said Zhang Shuibo. He suggested that all regions can develop sanitation workers, volunteers, and other public welfare jobs, give a priority to employ those who have difficulty finding a job and offer them job subsidies. What’s more, they can also offer them temporary living subsidies to ensure their minimum subsistence allowance. 

Zhang Shuibo also gave his own opinion on the steady employment of young people. First, train the talents for the economic development of our country under the new situation. Higher education and related vocational education should also carry out supply-side reform. Second, change the traditional view of employment and job selection and view employment from a broader perspective. College graduates can analyze China’s economic development trends and their own abilities and create new jobs in regions and industries with development potential. Third, establish the concept of lifelong learning and strengthen their ability of study. They should upgrade and update their labor skills to meet the needs of future social and economic development. 

The cultivation and supply of specialized talents is an important guarantee for deepening “Belt and Road” Initiative. “Cultivating high-level professional talents who are urgently needed for the construction of the Belt and Road’ Initiative will help the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative to be more sustainable.” Zhang Shuibo said. 

Based on his experience on teaching management in colleges and universities, Zhang also put forward that the majors and curriculum designs in colleges and universities should also receive supply-side reform to better serve the development of the “Belt and Road” Initiative. 

By: Deng Xiaoxuan
Editors: Sun Xiaofang and Keith Harrington