New rules taking effect from March

BY :Becky

UPDATED :March 2, 2021


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Guangzhou to deduct credit score of people in gas and garbage bill arrears

Photo/Guangzhou Daily

People who are in arrears on gas and garbage billand fail to pay within six months after being urged will have their social credit scores deducted, according to Guangzhou's Measures for the Administration of the Graded Use of Public Credit Information in Municipal Administration.

The new rule takes effect from March 1 and will remain in place for three years.
Amended Criminal Law lowers age of criminal responsibility to 12

Photo/Guangzhou Daily

The minimum age of criminal responsibility in China will be lowered to 12 in some special circumstances in accordance with the country's Amended Criminal Law, with effect from March 1.

Under the amendment, the age of criminal responsibility will remain unchanged at 16. However, juveniles aged 14 to 16 should be held criminally liable if they commit crimes such as intentional homicide or intentional injury causing deaths or severe disability through "extremely cruel means".

Misconducts like obstructing safe driving—including grabbing the steering wheel of a bus—and deliberately throwing objects from a high altitude will be treated as a crime of endangering public security. Also, identity theft cases involving college entrance and employment, slandering martyrs and heroes as well as attacking police are deemed as criminal acts, and violators can be sentenced to a fixed-term imprisonment for three years at most.
Criminal Procedure Law strengthens protection of minors

[Photo/China Daily]

The new interpretation on the application of China's Criminal Procedure Law that takes effect today will further strengthen the protection of minors' rights and interests.

The interpretation stipulates that in cases involving sexual assault or violent harm of minors, courts should simultaneously record audio and video while interrogating the victims and witnesses. The recording should be completed in one go.

Cooperation with other departments should be strengthened to enable psychological intervention, financial assistance, legal aid, school transfers, as well as other protective measures for minor and their families involved in cases of sexual assault or violence.

Teachers allowed to discipline "ill-behaved" students

Students sit for their first class of the spring semester at a school in Beijing's Haidian district on March 1, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

School and teachers are now empowered to take disciplinary action when students commit acts of disobedience, engage in disorderly conduct, endanger others' safety or infringe on others' rights, according to a regulation introduced by the Ministry of Education.

The rule also specifies the methods teachers may not adopt when punishing students, including corporal punishment and using discriminative and insulting words that can denigrate students.
Drugs for COVID-19 treatment covered in basic medical insurance

A staff member of a hospital fills prescriptions of traditional Chinese medicine for patients, May 26, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

All the drugs used in national COVID-19 treatment, including Ribavirin and Arbidol, have been covered by national health insurance, according to the National Healthcare Security Administration.

Following the adjustment, the new list of reimbursable drugs now covers 2,800 drugs, and nearly half are traditional Chinese medicine.
Online recruitment service provider banned from charging deposit

A job seeker inquires at a company's booth at a job fair in Yichang, Hubei province, on January 2, 2021. [Photo by Wang Jianfeng/for China Daily]

Online recruitment service platforms are banned from charging employees guarantee deposit, according to a circular from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

The ministry also prohibits such service provider from disclosing, falsifying, destroying, or illegally selling or providing information it gets from its users.
China to cancel unreasonable charges on water supply

An employee of a gas station in Xingtai, Hebei province, operates a fuel filling facility. [Photo/Xinhua]

The country vows to clean up and cancel all unreasonable charges on sectors involving people's daily lives, including water supply, power supply, gas and heating, to promote high-quality development of the industry.

Taking effect from March 1, the notice is jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, State Administration for Market Regulation and National Energy Administration.
New law to protect Yangtze River Basin ecosystems

Aerial photo taken on May 29, 2020 shows the view of Qutang Gorge, one of the Three Gorges on the Yangtze River, in Southwest China's Chongqing. [Photo/Xinhua]

Yangtze River Protection Law, the country's first law made for a specific river basin, comes into force today, with an aim of promoting well-coordinated environmental conservation and avoiding excessive development.

Fishing will be banned in all of the Yangtze's natural waterways for 10 years, including its main tributaries and lakes. Further, the law will also restrict exploitation of shorelines, demanding courts at all levels harshly punish violators and increase compensation for ecological damage.

Editor: Becky
Sources: China Daily; Xinhua; CGTN; Guangzhou Daily