China’s government restructuring plan explained
CGTN's Wang Guan
It is the Chinese government’s most sweeping bureaucratic overhaul in decades.
It’s a war on entrenched interests. The numerous directors and ministers whose offices have been removed probably won’t be enthusiastic about the changes, but Beijing believes they’re necessary reforms to make the government leaner and more efficient with fewer self-destructive turf wars.
Beautiful China Campaign
Specifically, the overhaul aims to better fight pollution and deal with climate change  – all part of what President Xi Jinping described as a campaign “to build a beautiful China.”
To fix water pollution in the old days one needed to find the Ministry of Land and Resources manager (国土资源部) who oversees underground water, and then contact the Ministry of Environmental Protection (环保部) if pollutants are in lakes and rivers. And, if the farmland was polluted, one had to talk to officials at the Ministry of Agriculture (农业部); if it was the ocean, the State Oceanic Administration (国家海洋局). Now, these offices are all under one roof – at the newly set up Ministry of Ecological Environment (生态环境部).
Issues such as overfishing in public waters, overgrazing on public grassland to unrestrained logging in public forests were once overseen by separate ministries with little coordination between them. Now they are all merged into the new Ministry of Natural Resources.
Cutting Red Tape
To own a business in China, an entrepreneur needed to get licenses and permits from bureaus in charge of business registration, product quality, quarantine, and food and drug safety. Now, the National Market Regulatory Administration Bureau will become a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs. The new body will also oversee business competition and practices such as antitrust regulation.
Managing Risks
To unify a fragmented regulatory system and reduce financial risk, the insurance and banking watchdogs are now combined into one agency. And, to cope with risks of natural disasters, the separate agencies dealing with earthquakes, flooding, forest fires or landslides are now grouped together under the new Ministry of Emergency Management (国家应急管理部).
Going Global
The restructuring shows China’s intention to go global.
The NPC created new administrations on immigration and international development. (国家移民管理局和国家国际发展合作署).
They will oversee the country’s immigration policies, international aid programs and economic and financial projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative.
People First
Many changes concern ordinary Chinese.
A new public health commission has been set up, de-emphasizing government limits on the number of babies a couple can have and refocusing policy for healthcare and an ageing society
The new Ministry of Veterans Affairs is expected to provide better service for those who fought for the country.