China PM Responds to Outrage Over School Bus Crash
In response to the bus crash that killed 18 preschool students in Gansu province, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao has vowed to improve bus services using central and local government funds. Reuters reports:
The tragedy prompted a swell of comments on the Internet and in the press calling for an overhaul of China’s badly managed and underserviced school transportation system. Rural areas in particular are known for unsafe transportation for children in aging, badly maintained vans and trucks.
The central and regional governments would provide funds for closer monitoring of manufacturing, renovation and allocation of school buses, Wen said at a conference on women’s and children’s affairs in Beijing, the Chinese government said on its official website.
Authorities would also work to improve management of bus systems and boost safety, Wen said.
Wen’s commented about the recent crash at National Working Conference on Women and Children where he addressed issues regarding the development of rights involving women and children. Xinhua adds:
The party and the government have always attached great importance to women’s and children’s issues, the premier said, noting that China has issued specific laws to protect women’s and children’s rights, while specific organizations have been set up to carry out government plans regarding the development of women’s and children’s rights.
He pledged to oppose gender discrimination of any kind and to work hard to ensure that women will have equal footing when participating in economic, political, cultural and social development.
Wen added that the government will continue to crack down on human trafficking and other crimes that target women and children.