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China's new law on protection of the disabled effective July 1
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21:32, June 30, 2008

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Several new Chinese laws and regulations, including the amended Law on Protection of the Disabled, will take effect on Tuesday.

The amendment is aimed at improving protection of the country's more than 83 million disabled ahead of the 2008 Paralympics in September.

China's top legislator, Wu Bangguo, told a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in April: "Caring for the disabled is a sign of social progress and an important part of building a harmonious society.

"It showcases the country's avowed respect for human rights in its constitution."

A revision of a 1991 law, the amendment was drawn up to "tackle new circumstances and problems" cropping up amid economic and social advances, according to Civil Affairs Minister Li Xueju.

The amendment added details about financial support, medical care and rehabilitation services for the disabled, along with preferential policies on jobs and taxes.

Governments at the county level or above should provide stable funding and draw up annual plans to help the disabled, it said.

It stressed the need to build and improve physical facilities that would make it easier for the disabled.

Beijing will host the Paralympics in September, while the AsianPara Games will be held in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, in 2010.

According to the China Disabled Persons' Federation, the country has about 83 million disabled, accounting for 6.34 percent of the population. More than 75 percent of the disabled live in rural areas.

Other laws taking effect on Tuesday include the Beijing Regulation on emergencies. The local regulation says that a fine of up to 200,000 yuan (28,600 U.S. dollars) will be imposed on those who engage in extending the harm of emergencies. It also promises severe punishment of those who engage in price-gouging and making or selling fake goods after emergencies.

A statute on protection of historical sites will also take effect on Tuesday. The statute on the protection of historical and cultural cities, towns and villages mandates punishment for those who damage such sites.

A measure dealing with house registrations will ensure the legal rights of residents, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

Also taking effect: a regulation on stock companies' asset management and a statue on geological surveys.

Source: Xinhua

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