“Sichuan Practice”: “5.12” Wenchuan Massive Earthquake Post-Earthquake Restoration and Reconstruction
Post-Earthquake Restoration and Reconstruction Committee
The “5.12” Wenchuan Massive Earthquake has cost huge losses of life, property and economic and social development in Sichuan Province. Under the firm leadership and with the full support of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, fraternal provinces and all sectors of the society poured to offer their assistance and support, party committees and governments at all levels organized and implemented, together with self-reliant and hard-working people throughout the province, especially in the quake zone in the face of arduous post-earthquake restoration and construction tasks. From October, 2008 to September, 2010, with two years’ utmost efforts and over 700 day-and-night fighting, 99.3% of the 29,700 reconstruction projects under the state construction plans have begun construction among which 85.2% are completed. 736.59 billion RMB of an estimated overall investment worthy 861.3 billion RMB has been completed, accounting for 85.6%, meeting satisfactorily the central committee’s target of “completing the three-year reconstruction plans within two years”. This hard-hit land has been transformed into new landscapes with afflicted people settling down in new houses, public service facilities fully upgraded, reconstructed cities and towns primarily developed, infrastructure fundamentally improved, industry development optimized and disaster-prevention and relief capability greatly enhanced. Quake-stricken area’s rise from ruins demonstrates a vivid picture of rebirth after disaster and leaping forward in the construction.
The great practice in the Sichuan post-earthquake restoration and reconstruction manifested great power of Chinese Communist Party who serves the people wholeheartedly and fully displayed national characters of pulling together for a common cause and making concerted efforts. It manifested the incomparable superiority of the socialist system and fully displayed the increasing national strength ever since the reform and opening-up. It manifested major guidance significance of Scientific Outlook on Development and fully displayed the great earthquake fighting and disaster relief spirit of “work as one, fight in unison, fear for no difficulty, never yield in spite of reverses, put people first and respect for science”. It also manifested high level self-consciousness of historical responsibility of party committees and governments at all levels in the quake-stricken areas and fully displayed the unyielding will of self-improvement, brave advance and hard struggle of afflicted people.
I. Planning First: high starting point planning, implementing strictly in line with the plans and safeguarding scientific reconstruction with scientific planning
Post-quake restoration and reconstruction is a huge system project with massive projects covering wide fields, thus a scientific overall planning is a must at the beginning to ensure overall restoration and higher-level of construction. We adhere to the principle of planning first, and have formulated scientific restoration and reconstruction plans and organized the implementation strictly according to plans. Through putting people first, respecting nature, overall considerations and arrangements and scientific reconstruction, the whole process of reconstruction work is scientific, serious and effective.
Careful planning at state level. The 11th day after Wenchuan Earthquake, the Post-Quake Reconstruction Group was set up by State Council Earthquake Fighting and Disaster Relief Headquarters to organize disaster losses assessment, geological hazards assessment, environment carrying capacity assessment and other related work, providing basis for scientific formulating plans. In early June, the Wenchuan Planning Group of Post-Earthquake Restoration and Reconstruction was established by the state, with National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) as group leader, Sichuan Provincial People’s Government and Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) as co-leaders, State Council and other over 30 departments and related parties as group members. It takes charge of organizing the formulation of planning for post-quake restoration and reconstruction and research into relevant policies. The Planning Group went deep into the quake-stricken areas successfully for over 10 times to conduct fieldwork, inspection and evaluation, hearings of advice and suggestions from cadres and the masses in the quake-stricken areas, and expert consultation conferences were held many times. The Planning Group also opened online special columns for proposal making to solicit opinions from all sectors of the society. NDRC issued The Overall Planning for Post-Wenchuan Earthquake Restoration and Reconstruction to solicit opinions from home and abroad and all sectors of society. After 4 months of hard work, the State Council published officially The Overall Planning for Post-Wenchuan Earthquake Restoration and Reconstruction in which guidelines, basic principles, reconstruction objectives, key tasks, policies and measures for restoration and reconstruction were laid out specifically. The Overall Planning decided to achieve the major tasks of restoration and reconstruction in approximately three years and the basic living conditions and the economic development level to reach or surpass the pre-disaster level. After that, according to changes in national economic situations and practices of restoration and reconstruction of quake-stricken areas, the central committee put forward the goal of “completing the three-year reconstruction plans within two years” and organized the implementation of mid-term assessment and project adjustment of restoration and reconstruction plans. The Overall Planning issued by the State Council drew the blueprint and pointed out the way for post-quake restoration and construction.
Regional support to improve the planning system. Sichuan Province formed the Provincial Planning Group of Post-Earthquake Restoration and Reconstruction of Earthquake Fighting and Disaster Relief Headquarters. On the basis of supporting the state complete the overall planning of reconstruction and 10 special planning, the Planning Group organized and coordinated more than 300 planning and design agencies and over 4000 planning technicians inside and outside the province to collectively carry out planning formulation. A total number of 43 industry plans, 51 hard-hit counties (cities, districts) implementation plans and 88 quake-stricken counties (cities, districts) project plans were completed, forming a post-quake restoration and reconstruction planning system with specific targets, layers and scopes，so that reconstruction work could have guidelines and project plans to follow. During the planning formulating, we set forth four principles: first, farsightedness. The reconstruction of infrastructure and public service facilities shall be in the light of restoration and improvement of their functions; the restoration and reconstruction of industries shall be in the light of layout optimization and structural upgrading; the reconstruction of urban-rural houses shall be in the light of the combination of industrialization, urbanization and a new socialist countryside. Second, safety. Site selection of reconstruction projects shall adhere to “three no construction” principle, namely no construction in seismic rift zones, spots for potential geological hazards or around river courses used for flood discharge. Urban-rural housing problems should be solved in accordance with “safe, economical, practical and land-saving” principle. Third, unique features. As for cities and towns, regional features, passing on of the history and culture and improvement of municipal overall image shall be attached to when reinforcing the modern functions of cities; as for villages, prominence shall be given to the improvement of village layout, village planning and design; as for buildings, importance shall be attached to characteristics and color matching, with the focus on improving design skill and decoration beauty of elevations. Fourth, systematicness. The restoration and reconstruction shall be integrated with optimizing economic layout, transformation of the development pattern, full opening-up and cooperation, improvement of urban-rural environment and eco-preservation and environmental-friendliness. The connection and coordination of overall planning, various special planning and industry planning shall be reinforced.
Organizing the implementation strictly according to the plans. After the approval of the Overall Planning and specific planning by the state in September 2008, we particularly stressed that the planning was formed on the basis of scientific argumentation so that their seriousness and authority shall be safeguarded resolutely and restoration and reconstruction shall be carried out strictly according to plans. Cities, counties and relevant departments in quake-stricken areas shall formulate annual implementation plans, set project progress and strengthen supervision and examination. After the state’s mid-term work adjustment arrangements for reconstruction projects of the plans in August, 2009, we swiftly set up adjustment principles, adjustment content, the procedure and time of report for approval. We also carried out project adjustment work for 39 extremely hard-hit and hard-hit disaster areas included in the state’s overall planning and 12 provincial-approved hard-hit areas, striving to ensure the construction tasks in the plans are more suitable to conditions of Sichuan disaster areas.
II. Reconstruction in accordance with the law: establishing and improving policy and legal systems, ensuring there are laws and regulations to go by
The post-quake restoration and reconstruction brought about many new problems concerning law and policies. It is a test unprecedented to our legal system development and an opportunity to post-quake systematic reconstruction. We joined closely the reconstruction in accordance with the law and scientific reconstruction with the attention paid to formulating regulations and regimes and reinforced policy support, providing strong legal guarantees for post-quake restoration and reconstruction.
Establishing and improving legal system. According to the needs of earthquake fighting and disaster relief and post-quake restoration and reconstruction, the standing committee of NPC revised Law of the People’s Republic of China on Protecting against and Mitigating Earthquake Disasters, which set specific regulations for further improvement of seismic fortification standards of construction projects; the State Council timely issued Regulations on Post-Wenchuan Earthquake Restoration and Reconstruction, in which guidelines and basic principles were established, providing important legal basis for post-quake restoration and reconstruction work. Standing Committee of Sichuan Provincial People's Congress approved and passed Decisions on reproduction in families bearing injured or killed members in Wenchuan Earthquake and other laws. The Provincial government promulgated government regulations including Regulations on Clearing and Protecting Earthquake Disaster Scenes and Scenes Alike in Beichuan Qiang Autonomous County and Opinions on Implementation of Building Security Appraisal and Restoration, Reinforcement and Demolition of Damaged Urban-and-Town houses in Wenchuan Earthquake zones. It worked out regulatory documents in relation to site selection technical guides for rural housing, building safety check and inspection, restoration, reinforcement and demolition of damaged houses in cities and towns. It has enacted state’s seismic fortification standards strictly, put restoration and reconstruction onto the track of legal system on time. As for legal issues brought about by disasters, we have conducted special researches into law-concerning problems including relief to masses with damaged houses, utilization and supervision of relief donations, in cash or in kind, treatment of bodily injury accidents caused by collapsed buildings, handling of use right of post-quake state-owned land, contractual right of land and use right of housing site land. Every facet and every link in the reconstruction work has been straightened and regulated all-roundly and systematically.
Establishing and improving policy system. To treat special cases with special measures, the State timely drew up suggestions to policy measures supporting post-Wenchuan earthquake restoration and reconstruction according to needs. The state comprehensively employed fiscal, taxation, finical, industry and employment and other policy methods to support post-quake restoration and reconstruction, covering all facets of reconstruction. At the same time, the state gave priority to the support of reconstruction of urban-rural collapsed houses, public service facilities and infrastructure. On the basis of issued state measures, 47 provincial specific supporting policies were formed from fiscal, taxation, finical, industry and employment in the line with reconstruction work. Relevant departments from the state and the province introduced a serious of policy measures and implementation methods supporting post-quake restoration and reconstruction, forming a complete policy system. The provincial government has made it clear that supporting polices to central policies shall be formulated as quickly as possible; energetic support shall be given to polices with jurisdiction within provincial level; and that we should decentralize as much as possible and to make the most of policy resources.
III. Organization and Mobilization: coordinating strengths from all parties, improving working mechanism and promoting post-quake restoration and reconstruction
Although the post-quake restoration and reconstruction is under the firm leadership of the CPC central committee and with full support from people of the whole nation, it is party committees and governments at all levels and cadres and masses in the disaster areas who shoulder the main body responsibility. We have given full play to organizing, mobilizing, directing and coordinating roles of the party committees and governments at all levels during the restoration and reconstruction. We have also let market forces play their basic role in allocating resources, mobilized all active elements, integrated resources, optimized allocation, tracked down difficulties and promoted reconstruction.
Improving origination system. Sichuan provincial party committee and provincial government correctly appraised the situation and put forward new “two quickening” demand (quickening the building of post-quake new homeland and quickening the construction of western economic development highland), to unify thinking and action of cadres and the masses throughout the province. Provincial Party committee and provincial government set up post-quake restoration and reconstruction commission to unify the leadership and arrangements for restoration and reconstruction work; disaster areas and concerned departments of provincial subordinate agencies also set up reconstruction institutions which fully reflected the need to quicken reconstruction in leadership and working arrangements. A working mechanism featuring the integration of departments and regions at different levels, unified movements from top to bottom, counterpart and connection as well as comprehensive coordination has formed throughout the province.
Reinforcing organizational forces. We conducted specialized training courses on restoration and reconstruction so as to reinforce the organizational forces of the party and the government. We intensified main accountability of cities and counties and special training on reconstruction plans, policies, techniques and disciplines were held to cadres of disaster areas. We vigorously enhanced the abilities of municipal and county leaders and cadres to promote reconstruction in accordance with the law and science. We strived to implement policies and measures. We intensified the service awareness of provincial departments so that they would perform and fulfill their duties, take initiatives and achieve results, enhance guidance and coordination and actively provide services. We organized counterpart supporting between 13 un-hit or lighter-hit cities and 13 hard-hit villages and towns. We have given full play to legal and work supervision of deputies of NPC and democratic supervision of CPPCC members in the reconstruction. We have relied on trade unions, Communist Youth League, women's federations and other mass organizations to mobilize the enthusiasm of various restoration and reconstruction strengths. We have carried out extensive and thorough publicity and mobilization, relying on grassroots autonomous organizations, organizing and guiding afflicted-masses to actively join the restoration and reconstruction. As for the problem of personnel shortage in the hard-hit zones, we have reinforced the talents’ security; while giving full play to the role of “doctors service group” delegated by the central government, we have also set up reconstruction expert groups gathering experts in architecture, design and information to conduct technical directions. We have designated professional and technical personnel to hard-hit cities (prefectures) in urgent need of personnel and conducted surprise aid services. We adjusted the implementation of plans including “three supports and one assistance”, “special position teachers” and “volunteer to Western Regions”, delivering university graduates to volunteer for education, medical care, agriculture and poverty alleviation to participate in reconstruction, thus the overall demand for talents have been ensured.
Strictly controlling the procedure. We have enacted quantitative assessment and scientific evaluation, turning the objectives of restoration and reconstruction work into a target management system that can be operated, monitored and assessed, so that every task is arranged, every link is examined and every assignment can achieve result. We have divided restoration and reconstruction tasks to all cities (prefectures) and provincial departments to make sure the implementation at all levels. We have gone to the depth of disaster areas, followed up the progress of all the projects throughout the whole process. The provincial government gives briefings to reconstruction situation of 6 hard-hit cities (prefectures) every week and these six hard-hit areas also report the reconstruction situation of six hard-hit counties on a regular basis. We have constantly carried out specific researches and arrangements, optimized and improved work plans, arranged comprehensively work focuses according to previous tasks and the progress of restoration and reconstruction so as to ensure the promotion of post-quake restoration and reconstruction would not be at the cost of quality.
Stressing the importance of results safeguarding. We have included restoration and reconstruction in disaster areas as an important content of assessment of leaders and cadres at all levels and important basis for performance evaluation of all departments at provincial level. The combination of all-round inspection and key inspection, regular supervision and periodic supervision and open and secret investigation were carried out. We have concluded and promoted promptly good experience in the reconstruction in various regions and studied and solved the weak links and new problems during the reconstruction process. As for the one-time prominent problem of demand and supply of building materials during the previous periods of reconstruction, we have set up special-supply mechanism and joint conference system for rural housing reconstruction materials, that is, the county-level governments buy the building materials directly from manufactures at producer price through government procurement, and then provide farmers with building materials at affordable prices. This mechanism soon spreads to important reconstruction fields like urban-and-town housing, schools and medical and health institutions so that the demand and supply as well as prices of building materials were able to stay stable in general. As for the shortfall of more than 500 billion yuan’s reconstruction funds out of a total demand of 861.3 billion yuan stipulated by the state, we have resorted mainly to market, bank loans and investment from the society. We have established and improved a market operating mechanism through local government bonds, financial bonds, short-term financing bills and various financing platforms at all levels; we have established and improved social participating mechanism through self-construction, agent-construction, work relief, BOT and other construction methods so that the overall balance of reconstruction funds have been ensured.
IV. Principal position of the general public: All for the masses and all by the masses, directing self-reliance and hard-work
The General public is where the strength of restoration and reconstruction lies. Only when the public is organized and mobilized can the restoration of homeland have a solid foundation. We adhere to the principle of putting the interests of the people first, and fully respect the wishes of the people, express their opinions and poor their wisdoms, thus the public work are carried out with deep feelings. We safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the people, motivated most of cadres and the public in disaster areas to be active, initiative, creative, and to rebuild homeland with their own hands.
We maintain giving top priority to people’s well-being. We have maintained the top priority of people’s well-being in our work, no matter in settling key tasks and time arrangements for post-quake restoration and reconstruction work or reconstruction fund raising. We resolved prominent problems that were closely concerning the production and livelihood of afflicted-people first. We assigned settling affected people in permanent houses as our first task in the restoration and reconstruction work. We implemented rural-housing reconstruction subsidy policy of 20,000 RMB per household for rural-housing construction; as for urban and town housing reconstruction, in additional to a household subsidy of 25,000 RMB, we have also offered exemption and reduction of house-building taxation and preferential subsidy of housing prices. We have completed emergency resettlement of more than 1.5 billion people 10 days after the earthquake and transitional aftercare cite for 1.2 billion people 100 days after the earthquake. Houses of 3.638 million urban-rural residents have been restored and fortified one year after the earthquake, 1.485 million rural houses have been fully reconstructed one and a half year after the earthquake and 259 thousand urban and town houses are basically completed. We have given priority to the restoration and reconstruction of schools and medical and health institutions to build them into the safest, soundest and most reliable architectures. 3,002 schools and 1,362 medical and health institutions are basically completed; supporting facilities such as gerocomiums, cultural centers and villager centers are basically established. The general public has had access to modern living facilities and their life style has undergone historical changes. We have given top priority to proper arrangement of the basic living conditions for special groups in straightened circumstances: for those 200,000 affected people who lost their land and housing sites, we have quickened our steps in adjusting cultivated land and land consolidation and reclamation so that they could all have land and income; for those orphans, elderly and handicapped who lost their families in the earthquake, we have included them in the urban and rural minimum living standard schemes; for those destitute households with their main labor force died or injured or handicapped and with no other source of income, we have provided special living allowances in addition to cost of living allowances and subsidies for good, clothing, medical care, housing and burial expenses, as well as rehabilitation assistance to the handicapped; as for handicapped students caused by the earthquake, we have exempted tuitions, fees, textbook fees, boarding fees and provided boarding living allowances; students from improvised families due to the death or injury of either parent have been provided with special financial aid: as for people living in cold mountain areas, we carried out “warm winter” campaigns to build houses, provide clothing and quilts, rations for winter and spring, ensure sanitation and epidemic prevention and we reinforced winder emergency material reserves so that affected population would not suffer from cold and hunger.
Respecting the willingness of the people. Our people have suffered immeasurable losses and enormous physical and psychological trauma in the Wenchuan Earthquake. We maintain to center around affected people, to respect them in thinking, to approach them in emotion and in action. We maintain scientific and democratic policy-making; we have solicited public opinions concerning issues bearing close links to their interests including restoration methods, site selection, house-style design, project supervision and land transfer; we have organized experts to carry out thorough discussion and argumentation on major issues. We implemented farmer self-construction, governmental subsidiaries, partnership assistance and social helps and support in reconstructing rural houses; organized planning and design strengths to provide rural habitants with diversified housing design samples for their satisfaction and choice. As for the reconstruction of urban and town houses, considering the complicated land using rights and interests as well as ownership relations, we adopted self-construction, proprietor joint-construction, comprehensive house-repay construction, entity organizing construction, government organizing construction and other flexible reconstruction methods to satisfy the reconstruction needs of urban and town residents; as for farmers who lost their land and housing site, we have adopted the principle of “nearby decentralization resettlement”, and as for trans-municipal (prefectural) help and support resettlement, we have resorted to farmer volunteering application, government helps and supports and overall arrangements. The utilization of donation funds is subjected to the principle of “reflecting willingness, following plans, reinforcing guidance and emphasizing key points”; we have given privilege to donations with specific purposes by arranging claimed projects according to donors’ intentions. We have formulated operational regulations for investigation and confirmation of land use right, land adjustment and transfer, treatment of property with no owner and other fields; we have promptly handled hot and knotty issues during demolition and settlement of the people to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests.
Giving prominence to the principal position of the people. We have adhered to the principle of government playing the leading role and people occupying the principal position in which priority is given to respecting and relying on people, thus they can self-construct, self-administrate and self-supervise during restoration and reconstruction. We have emphasized publicity and education, to make sure to people in disaster areas that the 20,000 RMB per household subsidy for rural permanent houses is from the care and support of the government, rather than compensation so as to shake off their dependent thoughts and wait-and-watch attitudes. We have intensified policy restraint and incentive; the subsidies to rural-housing reconstruction are implemented and allocated step by step and are realized according to project process on a timely manner. We have given play to demonstration effect. Through the appropriate construction of supporting public facilities in demonstration zones, we have directed the general farmers into consciously devoting housing construction in planned areas, so as to improve the overall production and living environment and quality in rural areas. We have summed up and promoted the successful experience in Ya’an and other places so that the people were willing to participate and follow governments’ unified arrangements by choosing and adjusting house-constructing land, raising seed money for housing construction all by themselves, by constructing with their own hands, joint-construction through mutual assistance and by agreeing on village rules and regulations as well as mutual supervision. With the heroic spirit of “no matter how difficult the problem is, it can be overcome as long as there if life” and “to do what is one’s own through one’s own strength and own sweat ”, people in disaster areas devoted money and labor and helped each other in reconstructing their homeland.
V. Counterpart assistance: devoting in assistant reconstruction and active support, laying stress on the combination of counterpart assistance and long-term cooperation
The CPC Central Committee and the State Council made major arrangements of “pooling the strengths of the entire country” by organizing 18 provinces and municipalities to assist 18 hard-hit counties and cities in Sichuan Province. People around the country and all sectors of the society offered their help and support. We have actively given play to the principal position, improved working mechanism, enhanced communications and connections, actively provided services, safeguarded the implementation of assistant-construction projects and promoted the transformation from counterpart assistance to long-term cooperation in proper time.
Getting assistance from far and near. 18 provinces and municipalities engaged in counterpart assistance enthusiastically responded to the call of the central committee with a strong sense of political responsibility and an awareness of overall interests, regarding assistance construction as their own duties. They planned from high starting point, constructed with high standards and promoted in high speed. A total number of 2,740 assistance cadres, over 310,000-people assistance teams, over 29,400 volunteers for medical care, education and police were dispatched to disaster areas. Principal leaders from provinces and cities engaged in counterpart assistance have paid visits to their counterparts on various occasions to investigate, console and direct. Their concern and support for their counterparts have surpassed their attention to their own provinces and municipalities. The 3,860 counterpart assistance projects settled by 18 counterparts have all gone into construction with 3,430 already completed, accounting for 88.9% of the total projects; the completed investment has reached 69.29 billion yuan, accounting for 90% of counterpart assistance. All counterparts have combined hardware development with software development so that not only schools, hospitals and other facilities in the assistance construction featured improved functions and advanced equipment, but modern managerial level and professional skills of personnel in disaster areas were improved through inter-city training or remote guiding, brining about maximum efficiency and benefit from advanced facilities. They have combined material assistance with intellectual support by receiving cadres from disaster areas on temporary positions so as to train and develop personnel and advanced concepts, successful experience and management models from developed regions were able to spread widely and take root. They have also combined aid and support with potential exploration by joining hands with disaster areas in planning characteristic industrial parks and agricultural demonstration zones. They encouraged enterprises in Sichuan Province to participate in post-quake restoration and reconstruction through signing a great number of industrial cooperation projects, bringing funds and projects to disaster areas, thus the self-development capability of disaster areas are enhanced. Although Hainan Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region were not assigned to assistance tasks, they actively offered to assist the reconstruction of two hard-hit counties in our province. Other fraternal provinces, relevant ministries, People's Liberation Army, the Armed Police Force and all sectors of the society have all offered funds, projects and intellectual support. Hong Kong and Macao SAR Governments actively assisted restoration and reconstruction of our province. Hong Kong Chief Executive and Macao Chief Executive have visited Sichuan many times to discuss assistance working mechanism and relevant arrangements. Hong Kong and Macao coordination mechanism departments have come to Sichuan Province for more than 70 times to conduct inspection and assessment projects and consultation conferences. According to their request, the assistance funds from Hong Kong and Macao SARs were to be utilized in assistance projects in 18 hard-hit counties excluding the counties arranged for counterpart assistance and 12 hard-hit counties identified by Sichuan Province. Construction of all these projects is going well. International community and international friends have also shown great concern and support to the restoration and reconstruction of Sichuan Province.
Reinforcing coordination and actively providing services. Party committees and governments at all levels in Sichuan Province vigorously solved the difficulties and problems emerged in assistance reconstruction work through comprehensive coordination and active interaction. They have strived to create a favorable working and living environment for reconstruction personnel, and favorable working conditions for counterpart assistance projects. Sichuan Province formed Office for Counterpart Assistance and determined partnership contacts to be led by leaders of provincial government and 18 provincial subordinate departments to take charge of specific coordination and connection work. Cities and counties receiving assistance set up relevant work organs swiftly and the mechanism and platform for communication and connection between counterparts were then established. Taking into consideration the reality of disaster areas, we actively studied reconstruction schemes with our counterparts and implemented reconstruction measures. “Green Channels” were opened in project approval, construction conditions and logistic guarantee. While working on counterpart assistance, we also attached importance to turning receiving support to mutual benefit and win-win situation. We spontaneously carried out “paring” practices on the basis of giving full play to advantages of both sides. We assigned long-term cooperative and strategic agreements with fraternal provinces and municipalities so as to establish a long-term cooperation mechanism. New methods of turning counterpart assistance to counterpart cooperation are thus explored. A high-level coordinating organization is established between the provincial government and Hong Kong and Macao through which regulatory documents such as Provisional Measures on Management of Hong Kong and Macao Assistant Projects and Funds were formulated jointly. It specifically demanded every region to keep its promise and to organize the implementation of projects strictly according to plans and agreements. Through counterpart assistance, the two sides have formed profound emotions and powerful cooperation which served solid guarantee for completing reconstruction tasks.
VI. Supervising the whole process: strengthen the safety control of the project quality, fund and construction, ensure that the projects can stand up to all tests of history and practice
The Post-Quake Restoration and Reconstruction is a great reengineering project for the number of reconstruction items and the amount of reconstruction investment. It is also a reengineering project featuring widest mobilization and greatest input ever since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. We maintain that progress should subject to quality and we intensified supervision to ensure quality safety, fund safety and construction safety in attitudes of being responsible for our people and history.
Reinforcing safety control of project quality. We have strictly implemented the new national seismic fortification criterion: in reconstructing rural houses, we required that all construction should be planned and constructed in accordance with the national and local standards of architectural technologies and seismic fortification, which changed the old tradition that rural houses were constructed with no seismic fortification; all public service facilities with great occupancies such as schools and hospitals should be designed according to standards higher than local seismic fortification criterion in order to build these places into the safest, soundest and reassuring hedge places during the earthquake. It is required to implement the project legal person responsibility, bidding, contract management and construction supervision systems strictly, and so are the infrastructure procedures. The technology management should be enhanced. The provincial department of construction sends stationed technology directors group to the 6 worst-hit cities and prefectures, to review the design and construction drawing in the preparatory works, to control the quality of the building materials and the construction itself in the constructing process, and to accept the project with strict standard in the completion stage. The project quality and safety should be supervised and supervision in specific filed is required too with regard to the reconstructing program. Any problems found in the program should be rectified and any illegal acts found in the program should be punished according to the law. With reconstructing programs being completed successively, we should carry out the re-examining and quality warranty systems strictly, urging the project construction units to re-examine the projects, requiring that all reconstructing projects get quality warranty and assuring the normal operation of the projects after being transferred. In the general view, the reconstructing projects in our province are under control, and the foundation and the body of buildings are solid, which gains a good quality of those reconstructing projects.
Intensifying the security of reconstruction funds. From the moment the funds are allocated, supervision work has begun to conduct synchronized examination and audit, realizing supervision over the whole process. We paid attention to give prominence to key supervision tasks by dispatching supervision working groups to 11 departments (entities) in charge of reception and allocation of donation in cash and in kind at provincial level including civil affairs department, finance bureau, public health department, Charity Federation and the Red Cross and 6 hard-hit cities (prefectures) by the Provincial Department of Supervision and relevant departments. We have inclined our supervision focus to grass-roots level in our supervision thoughts. Departments of finance and supervision and other departments organized special supervision teams to station at the front-line, conduct circuit inspection and urge rectification and reform when problems emerge. We have attached importance to follow-up auditing during the whole process by sending out professional audit personnel forming into thousands of audit groups to conduct follow-up audit at construction front-line. We have emphasized on enhancing public supervision by employing experts in fields like architecture, building costs, finance and accounting, tendering and bidding as social supervisors to participate in fund management and construction supervision upon completing supervision tasks during disaster relief. We have enhanced communication and connection with supervision institutions from counterpart provinces and municipalities so as to deal with affairs in relation to supervision over assistant projects and funds. We have given much priority to systems and regulations: we have formulated regulations and regimes for major fields, key sectors and weak links in reconstruction supervision and inspection and we have formulated special supervision system specifically for funds of various types such as social donation, assistant construction form Hong Kong and Macao and special party-member dues so that management of fund items could have regulations to follow and supervision accountability could be regulated and in order. We have introduced regulations such as fault accountability and administrative efficiency accountability on the management and use of donated funds and materials, strictly determined the “red line” for laws and disciplines, urged the implementation of accountability and resolutely punished practices in violation of the laws and disciplines. Up till now, the management and use of reconstruction funds in our province is going well; donations have been put into specific use, information on fund using is open and transparent, the reconstruction process is regulated and in order, and no major problems have been spotted.
Reinforcing construction safety. To deal with heavy project tasks, limited construction sites, tight construction schemes and other difficulties, we enhanced safety education, improved consciousness of mutual supervision and mutual assistance in safe production so as to ensure reconstruction safety. We have determined survey, design, supervision and construction entities with corresponding qualifications to participate in restoration and reconstruction, thus safe projection accidents were prevented from the source. We adhered to strictly implementing laws, rules and standards for safe production. We have intensified administration safety supervision over construction sites. We have thoroughly carried out special actions of “three actions” on construction safe production and “regulating construction site administration”. We organized to cope with the safety hazards of construction, with a view to preventing the sub-disasters from happening; we have formulated safety construction plans for dangerous projects to make sure that serious accidents would not happen.
VII. Creating harmonious environment: actively accepting supervision by public opinion, carrying out education of gratefulness and self-reliance, vigorously creating a favorable reconstruction atmosphere
Since the Wenchuan Earthquake, all the attention from home and abroad has been paid to Sichuan with concerns about the people and changes in the stricken areas. We have maintained transparency in information of restoration and reconstruction and widely accepted supervision from the public. We have made great efforts to the publicity and guidance to carry out education of gratefulness and self-reliance among the people in the stricken areas, which have built up a favorable environment for restoration and reconstruction.
Creating a positive atmosphere of public opinion. We have made full use of modern information network platform to set up special coverage on Internet media such as home page “Sichuan Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Network” and column “Sunshine Reconstruction”, which released the plans for restoration and reconstruction and local implementation plans, followed up the process of the restoration and reconstruction projects and resettlement of the affected people, and released information on supervision and examination of reconstruction projects and funds. During the successive five press conferences, we have explained the progress of restoration and reconstruction to news media from home and abroad and answered hot and knotty questions that the society concerns. In March, 2009 and March, 2010, two press conferences on post-quake restoration and reconstruction were held in Beijing during the Two Sessions during which progress in restoration and reconstruction progress in six hard-hit areas were briefed respectively. Shortly before the first anniversary of the Wenchuan Earthquake, we held two press conferences on May 7 and May 8, reporting the progress of restoration and reconstruction especially the information on supervision over reconstruction funds and relief materials and investigation and punishment of law-and-discipline-violation cases. On the second anniversary of the Wenchuan Earthquake, we held another press conference, reporting the general situation of post-earthquake restoration and reconstruction. Many mass media have dispatched correspondents to attend the press conference, in which leaders of the provincial government and leaders in charge of the relevant departments and provincial subordinate departments in hard-hit cities (prefecture) replied issues of social concerns posed by correspondents. Meanwhile, provincial radios, TVs and newspapers and other news media have assigned the well-selected cadres to the depth of the quake-stricken areas to interview and report the post-earthquake restoration and reconstruction and widely publicized the typical experiences and advanced characters during the course. The openness and transparency towards the society and wide and thorough publicity have created a favorable environment of public opinion.
Creating a favorable atmosphere of gratefulness and self-reliance. We have attached importance to the combination of selfless aid from all sectors of the society and plain living and hard struggle of the afflicted people, extensively and thoroughly launched promotion and education of gratefulness and stimulated the enthusiasm and initiative of the afflicted people, so as to infuse inexhaustible innate motive to the post-earthquake restoration and reconstruction. We have enhanced the grateful awareness among people and cadres in the affected areas through setting a special column on the mass press to energetically publicize the concerns, care and selfless assistance from the central committee, the State Council, people around the nation and all sectors of the society as well as exemplars and feats and through keeping an all-round record of the vivid practices of independence and tenacious work in the reconstruction of homeland. We have actively produced spiritual and cultural works on gratefulness, such as holding benefit concerts for the people in the stricken areas, composing documentary literature, songs, dances, cameos, poetry, calligraphy, paintings and photos. Because of You, Heart of Gratitude, I Wish, Welcome to Sichuan, Sichuan is as Beautiful as Ever and other songs are sung all around the province. Many outstanding works coagulated the strong spiritual power of hard work in the restoration of homeland. To inherit the spirit of gratitude from generation to generation, we have carried out the gratitude education in schools in the stricken areas, some of which have opened gratitude courses, some of which have organized recitation before every class, and others of which have started tree adoption in the name of gratitude. Through various forms of gratitude education, we have inspired people’s morale in the course of reconstructing beautiful homeland. Self-improving, hard-working, self-reliant and tenacious, the great quake relief spirit has continued on the ruins and reflected in the reconstruction.
VIII. Revitalization of the development: properly dealing with the relationship between present and future, impelling the sustainable development in the disaster areas
The wealth that people in the disaster areas have accumulated by hard work for decades has been destroyed by the massive earthquake completely overnight, industries badly affected, ecological environment ruined enormously. We persist in stimulating the development through reconstruction and strengthening the “potential exploration” in the disaster areas. Efforts shall be intensified to expand employment, further promote poverty alleviation programs, great importance attached to the restoration and preservation of the natural ecology, pulling off the sustainable development of the quake zone.
Seeking to improve the level of industrial development. We will stick to combining the restoration and reconstruction of the industry with the optimization of economic distribution and the transformation of the mode of economic development to breed and expand competitive industries, to accelerate the industry to restore and upgrade, and to strength the increasing potential of further development. The three developments in the quake zone have been basically restored to the pre-earthquake levels. More than 2,440 damaged industrial enterprises have been included into the overall plan of reconstruction, among which 98.3% have resumed production. Many enterprises such as Dong Fang Steam Turbine Company which seized the great opportunity not only have restored their original capacity, but also have achieved structural adjustment, optimization of the layout and the promotion of levels. We will stick to the actual situation of the disaster areas to nurture and develop the green ecological agriculture with local characteristics and to build the base for the deep processing of agricultural products. Provincial government has specially published the guidelines on accelerating cultivating the rural industry of the quake zone and exploring channels for the steady increase in farmers’ incomes, presenting the clear supporting methods from six perspectives of distinctive plant industry, contemporary stock raising, distinctive forestry estate, agricultural product processing industry, services industry and rural service sector. The own actual situation will be involved to work out the implementation plan and to make the strategic measures into details, with a view to speeding up the development of rural industry. We will adhere to leading by planning and mal-position development, vigorously develop characteristic advanced industries and energetically build the modern industrial system with regional characteristics. Some provincial-level industrial parks in the affected areas have been newly approved, in accordance with the requirement of “one main industry in one park, distinctive features in each park”, to strive to build the industrial clusters with various characteristics and the professional bases for the advanced industries. We will deepen the construction of counterpart assistance industrial cooperation parks, strongly carry on the industrial shift. More efforts will be made in transforming the counterpart assistance industrial parks into the important base for the development of the disaster area. We will treat tourism as the superior industry to be reconstructed, start the “tourism upgrading program” and actively foster a number of tourism brand with distinctive local characteristics in the affected area. We will speed up the construction of circulation infrastructure and the circulation network.
Striving to expand the employment of people in disaster areas. We will stick to working hard to increase employment, regarded as the basic way to improve steadily people’s income, the major measures to improve the issue of people’s livelihood. Based on the overall situation, we will integrate resources and have a systematically arrangement to achieve employment in each household. We will make the enlargement of employment as the priority of development and the county-level governments in disaster area as the main entity of the liability and work to further strengthen the power of policy support on the employment of people in afflicted area and promote the benign interaction between post-disaster reconstruction, economic development and the expansion of employment. We will actively offer employment assistance by opening more public service positions, encouraging enterprises to absorb employment, upholding the individual businesses and flexible employment, to realize the promotion of entrepreneurship to employment. Priority will be given to the employment of people who are farmers losing farmland because of the disaster, who are in zero-employment households, who are wounded and disabled in the disaster and who are university graduates from the poor families and so on. We will attach great importance to vigorously developing the labor economy and strengthen the connection with the counterpart assistance provinces and municipalities to help the workers in disaster-stricken areas with the transfer of the employment to other zones. Labor cooperation will be intensified with the developed areas in eastern part of China and efforts will be given to guide the labor force to orderly transfer and expand the scale of the export of labor services. We will strengthen the training of labor skills, improve the system of employment services and provide the good career guidance and services.
Going all out to promote the poverty relief. The purpose of post-disaster restoration and reconstruction is not just to make people move into the new house, but to provide them with assured of secure living environment. Focusing on the goal of building a moderately prosperous society instantaneously in an all round way, we will integrate the post-disaster poverty reduction program in the Twelfth Five-Year Overall Plan for national economy and social development, making overall planning to restore the basic production of the affected impoverished villages in one year and to spend five years in cultivating and forming the leading industries and perfect infrastructure in these villages ,so as to integrally promote the social economic development of the affected impoverished villages. We will implement the poverty reduction program to connect the key impoverished villages in affected areas into one block and further refine the measures of carrying out supporting policy. Based on the requirement of regional distribution, standardized development and specialized production, we will attach great importance to the cultivation of leading industry, vigorously enhance the development of farming and make efforts to progress the processing of agricultural and sideline products to facilitate the income and prosperity of poor people in affected areas. Attention will be paid to the integration of a variety of resources and the appropriate integration of poverty-relief capital invested by new villages, industries, rural roads, services, immigrates and all sectors of society to collectively cast these capital to the impoverished villages in stricken areas. The project funds concerning farmers will be tilted to the affected poor villages as much as possible, the project funds of land arrangement to the villages where the farmers in stricken areas have lost more land. We will step up efforts to broaden the propaganda, pool the strength of society and mobilize all forces to help the counterpart impoverished villages in affected areas, forming a good atmosphere for the poverty alleviation with the wide participation and support.
Reinforcing eco-preservation and prevention and treatment of geological hazards. To restore ecological functions, improve environment quality and enhance disaster prevention and reduction capability is long-term and arduous task. Main quake zone of Wenchuan Massive Earthquake is where the Sichuan forest recourses mainly located, thus the eco-system in disaster areas suffered enormous damage and destruction. We persist in the combination of natural restoration and artificial prevention. We have implemented the ecological rehabilitation projects in the upper reaches of Min River, Jialing River and Fu River to restore forest-grass vegetation, giant panda habitats, seedling bases for tress and forest infrastructure. We have intensified eco-reconstruction and environment-protection so that ecological functions such as forest water resource and soil conservation have been gradually restored and improved. We have fortified the construction of flood control and security system in Min River, Tuo River, Fu River, Qu River and other rivers, actively pushed forward treatment of small-and-medium rivers in hard-hit areas and reinforcement of small reservoirs to enhance the capability of flood and disaster prevention and control. 3 to 5 years after the massive earthquake is a high-incidence period for geological hazards and basic solidification might take 15 years or more, and therefore geological hazard prevention and treatment encounters much more arduous tasks. We must attach importance to establishing and improving evaluation and prevention mechanism by closely guarding against geological hazards, implementing supervision and early warming, dodging, project treatment and other measures for already known hidden danger, so as to safeguard safety of life and property of the people in the disaster areas. Staring from this year, Sichuan Province has already experienced the number of times of regional heavy rains and geological hazards doubled compared with last year. However, we have successful averted accidents suffering heavy causalities.
In retrospect of the reconstruction practices for the last two years, our paths were eventful and our achievements did not come by easily. During the process, we have overcome the severe challenges brought about by International financial crisis, defeated severe challenges of massive disaster of mountain torrents and mud-rock flow and withstood tests over and over again. We firmly believe that through quickening the steps in building up a new beautiful homeland and building western economic development highland, disaster areas are sure to embrace a better tomorrow and Sichuan Province is sure to embrace a more beautiful future.