Tian Xuemei, a delegate to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, salutes journalists after a group interview session on Thursday. Tian serves as a forensic expert in the Ministry of Public Security. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily] Delegates to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China who represent the legal sector said on Thursday that construction of a judicial system and related reforms will be accelerated and improved. General Secretary Xi Jinping said on Wednesday while delivering a report at the congress's opening session that the Party will establish a central leading group for advancing law-based governance in all areas. The move, with the aim of building the rule of law in the country, is a profound revolution in the country's governance, Xi said. The plan was applauded by law-related delegates. Building legal structures, I believe, will be further accelerated and pushed forward after the congress, said Zhang Sujun, vice-president of the China Law Society. The group will contribute to establishing a law-based government and also to enhancing legal awareness in public, he said. The rule of law will play a bigger and more basic role in the governance of the country and the Party after the congress, he added. Jiang Bixin, a delegate and vice-president of the Supreme People's Court, considered the group as the most important step for the central leadership to further implement the rule of law. If the group is established, it will help us reach more agreements on the rule of law and then integrate more legal efforts across the country, Jiang said. Meanwhile, the nation can also make policies in line with our judicial building and solve related problems in a timely manner. Song Yushui, a Beijing judge, said she was happy to see that increasing protection of human rights was in the report. It is a big demand of people and also a key to fulfill the rule of law. In the past five years, more than 3,800 criminal defendants were found innocent because of insufficient evidence or unclear facts, which Song considered the best proof of the country's determination to protect human rights. Xue Jimin, a lawyer from Jiangsu province, said, Filing a case has not been difficult for people since Chinese courts banned unnecessary barriers to the process through judicial reforms. That also protects human rights in litigation. He said the country built a national system to protect lawyers' rights at the beginning of this year, and so far 321 attorney associations in 31 regions have pushed forward the system. In recent years, the country has also issued several rules to regulate the behavior of lawyers, hoping the industry can effectively enforce the rules, according to Xue. But he added the protection for more than 340,000 attorneys nationwide still needs to be improved, since the better the environment for lawyers to help people file lawsuits, the more legal services will be given to litigants. He said he is looking forward to seeing more measures to protect lawyers' rights. custom wristbands uk
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Seniors learn to dance in a college for the elderly in Harbin, Heilongjiang province.[Wang Kai/Xinhua] An innovative service designed to help senior citizens access recreational programs and public services has been launched in Xinxiang, Henan province. According to the city's committee on aging, Xinxiang has about 760,000 people aged 60 and older, accounting for 15.8 percent of the population. The new service, part of the integrated information website 12349.gov.cn, allows senior citizens to accumulate points by participating in various social activities, which they can redeem for daily necessities. I have 2,000 points in my account, which I gained through taking music and dance classes in a college for the elderly, said Wen Xiangling, a 60-year-old retiree from Xinxiang. I gain five points from each class, which is equal to 1 yuan (15 cents). The points can then be spent on haircuts and laundry services. Hu Jiebing, head of Xinxiang's committee on aging, said the points-based system effectively encourages seniors to take part in social activities. For example, they can get points from 57 service centers for participating in recreational classes such as calligraphy and photography. They can then use these points in supermarkets and at care centers, said the 58-year-old. So far, Xinxiang's seniors have accrued more than 110 million points, with over 12,000 being spent every day on a variety of goods and services. A hotline associated with the initiative receives more than 800 calls a day. Hu Xiuying, 76, said she spends her points on physical therapy to treat her arthritis. She has attended therapy sessions five days a week for the past two months, with each session costing 20 points. She accumulated her points through her savings account with Bank of China and her spending on telecommunication services, she said. Both Bank of China and China Citic Bank offer financial services that reward points as part of the program, with 30 points accrued for every 1,000 yuan saved over a period of a year. China Unicom, meanwhile, offers seniors a point for every 10 yuan spent on its services. Points are also available for any seniors who take part in a special quiz program that is broadcast on local television. According to Xinxiang's committee on aging, an increase in the number of seniors has presented a challenge for the government, with the upward trend unlikely to be reversed anytime soon. The points-based service aims to better use government funds by facilitating access to social services for seniors who participate in charitable, recreational and educational activities, it said.
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