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China rolls out measures to ensure Spring Festival supplies

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Consumers shop at a supermarket in Xiangfang District, Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, Jan. 25, 2021. Heilongjiang authorities have been making continuous efforts to ensure food supply amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Xinhua/Wang Song)

Officials from China’s central government departments revealed a flurry of measures to ensure supply of materials, ranging from pork, vegetables to entertainment products, for the upcoming Spring Festival holiday, during which people are encouraged or requested to stay put in the cities they work to prevent spread of the coronavirus. 

One of top priorities is supply of food for the holiday season. Zhu Xiaoliang, a government official from the Ministry of Commerce, said at a press conference on Wednesday that the government will release 20,000-30,000 tons of frozen pork reserve per week into the market during the Spring Festival. The country will also release regional reserves according to local demands. 

Zhao Chenxin, a spokesperson of the National Development and Reform Commission, said that the government would ensure the supply of vegetables, especially those favored by many people during the Spring Festival, like fast-growing leafy vegetables. The allocation of live hogs and the release of processed grains in small packages as well as processed edible oil will also be arranged. 

Besides food supplies, the government will also take measures to ensure transportation and purchasing channels are unblocked so that residents can shop comfortably during the holiday, officials said. 

For example, the government will arrange key wholesale markets and service networks like supermarkets and restaurants to extend their opening hours during the Spring Festival to facilitate offline consumption. 

Specifically, neighborhoods and countryside retail outlets are encouraged to remain open at least eight hours each day during the holiday period, while e-commerce platforms and logistics firms are asked to not stop delivering products during the holiday period. 

To inspire more consumption during the Spring Festival, local governments are also rolling-out measures such as issuing consumption vouchers, arranging free tourism sites and staging online and offline sales promotions, officials said. 

The government will also increase the supply of entertainment products including online and television programs, as well as encouraging the supply of free network flows to ensure people can enjoy the holiday period even if they can’t reunite with their families.

The Chinese government recently published a notice encouraging residents to spend the Spring Festival holiday period where they work — as opposed to going back to their hometowns — according to the relevant coronavirus severity. 

Residents in high-risk areas are required to spend the holiday where they are, while those in low-risk areas are encouraged to do so as well. China now has nine high-risk areas including one in Beijing and three in Hebei Province. 

Global Times

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