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Commentary Wrap: Railways, Charity & Awkward Names

March 15, 2013

Editors from the EO's Chinese website publish a daily collection of extracts from commentary pieces on topical issues that appear in the mainland press alongside reactions on Sina Weibo. Every Friday, the EO's English team translates a selection of these opinion pieces.

Dismantling the Ministry of Railways
Background: The State Council announced on March 10th that the Ministry of Railways would be absorbed by the Ministry of Transport. It also announced China Railway Corporation would be established to take over the ministry’s commercial functions. According to "the last railways Minister" Sheng Guangzu, rail staff will not be laid off and the future train fare will be market-based.

Whether it is the Ministry of Railways or China Railway Corporation, if operations and commercial arms can be separated, then it would be a big step. But the monopoly over the railways is unchanged. In this regard, we must introduce substantive market competition.
Hua Shang Daily
Original article:

Comments from netizens
@童杰0119: Indeed, compared to the dismantled railways ministry, we’re more concerned with the rising train fares. Institutional reform might be too complicated for ordinary people, but the rising price is really painfully felt!

Awkward Department Names
Background: The newly released institutional reform program has attracted attention because of some awkward new department names. for example, the "Hubei leading group office of comprehensive pilot reform on Wuhan metropolitan area for building a national resource-saving and environmentally friendly society.” (湖北省推进武汉城市圈全国资源节约型和环境友好型社会建设综合配套改革试验区建设领导小组办公室) 

Departments at lower levels have names that are identifiers [so people know what they do]. A long department name is usually a compromise for retaining personnel power, financial budgetary power and dispatching power.
Southern Metropolis Daily
Original article
: [Chinese]

The naming of government departments should be simple and easy to remember. As the old saying goes, "Things should be called by their right names, if not, nothing sounds right and nothing can be accomplished."
Hua Shang Daily
Original article
: [Chinese]

Dead pigs in Huangpu River
Background: In spite of over 6,000 rotting pig carcasses being found floating in the Huangpu River, authorities have said that "so far the water quality is stable and safe."

The government must make this information open to the public and deal with problems.  
Xinmin Evening News
Original article
: [Chinese]

Comments from netizens:
@林楚方: It's not the dead pigs that frighten us. There are so many dead pigs each year, but where do they go? To ham or restaurants? I think this is the major issue.

Charity Federation
Background: The Ministry of Civil Affairs has announced the establishment of national service federation for charity organizations, which will help coordinate and promote self-regulation among charities.

The function of this federation is one of the biggest concerns. As a "comprehensive organization," it leaves huge impact in this field. The Ministry of Civil Affairs should consult more philanthropists and public intellectuals in this regard.
The Beijing News
Original article: [Chinese]

Comments from netizens
@昼锦堂:The government should give up control so as to develop philanthropy, rather than tighten management. Let money and kindness flow freely. A free and competitive market should be the future of philanthropy.



Comments(The views posted belong to the commentator, not representative of the EO)

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