China media: Reform pledge

Delegates at the sessions discussed key issues like economy, pollution ands governance Image copyright AFP
Image caption Delegates discussed key issues like economy, pollution and governance

China's state media back the government's reform pledge, while frustration grows over the lack of information on the fate of the missing Malaysian jet.

The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) - the country's top political advisory body - ended its annual session in Beijing on Wednesday.

Speeches from key leaders suggest that "deepening of reforms" in several key sectors would be the government's top priority in the next 12 months.

"Deepening reform was the main focus for China's political advisers at the annual session," says The People's Daily.

"Among the 1,018 registered proposals on deepening reform, 287 touch on administrative system reform, calling for streamlining of the governance system and implementing a strict accountability system, while 380 are concerned with financial and tax reform, and 147 deal with the promotion of an economy of diverse ownership," adds the paper.

The Xinhua News Agency's commentary, entitled "the horn of reform has been sounded", urges local authorities to combine reforms with the actual situation on the ground and implement the ideas of the party.

Growing pollution in Chinese cities and towns was also one of the topics prominently discussed at the session, reports say.

"At least 596 proposals, more than one-tenth of the total, listed pollution as a top concern. Besides calling for greater efforts in the fight against the contamination of air, soil and underground water, delegates urged authorities to beef up environmental protection in rural areas," reports the South China Morning Post.

Commenting on a proposal to delegate more power to local authorities, The Beijing Times says it requires a full implementation of the central government's decisions.

"They must conduct 'self-reform' and eliminate all old departmental and personal interests. They must 'remove power' and 'limit power' voluntarily," it says.

In addition to the CPPCC session, media outlets are also covering judicial reforms discussed at the annual meeting of the National People's Congress - China's top legislative body.

Liu Hongyu, a representative at the NPC, proposed strengthening the role of public prosecutors to ensure a fair judicial system through the law, The Legal Daily reports.

A commentary in The Beijing News calls for "better remuneration and reduced administrative workloads for judges in order to retain talent in the judicial system".

It also calls for better protection for judges so they can give judgements without fear or bias.

The Beijing Times stresses the importance of the law treating citizens as equals without being swayed by public opinion or the media.

"Over-emphasis of the identities of those involved in a case will easily lead to judicial verdicts being overridden by judgements reached by morality and values, which will in turn blur the focus of the case. This is detrimental in the spread of justice," it says.

Missing jet

Meanwhile, Chinese papers continue to express frustration over the lack of information on the missing Malaysian airline jet.

Beijing-bound flight MH370 vanished on Saturday shortly after it left Kuala Lumpur. There were 239 people, mostly Chinese nationals, on board.

A spokesman from China's Foreign Ministry did not answer directly whether the Chinese government was dissatisfied with Malaysia's efforts in searching the jet.

But media outlets continue to express their dissatisfaction over the ongoing rescue efforts led by authorities in Kuala Lumpur.

In a pointed commentary, the Beijing Times says Malaysia cannot afford to allow the search operation to become an international joke.

"There are full reasons to demand Malaysia deal with the Malaysia Airline incident with a more responsible attitude and in a more professional spirit," it says.

Another commentary carried in The Beijing News criticises Malaysia for its piecemeal release of information that has affected the efficiency of the search efforts of the six countries involved in the operation.

In a front-page commentary, the People's Daily Overseas Edition calls for an update of the flight recorder technology and communication between airliners and control towers.

"Men should learn from this painful lesson to consider using better technology and methods to make up for deficiencies of original technology," it says.

And finally, papers in Hong Kong have welcomed the arrest of nine men over the stabbing of veteran journalist Kevin Lau.

Two of them, who were detained in China, are believed to have links to organised crime, Hong Kong police say.

The Wen Wei Po praised the police's efforts in arresting the suspects but warned against speculating over the motive of the crime.

"Everyone … should give the police more time to investigate so they can reveal the truth as soon as possible," it says.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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