China is set to establish new ministries to promote environmental protection, an institutional reform plan showed Tuesday, as President Xi Jinping has pledged to build a "Beautiful China" with blue skies and clean air.
The plan, submitted by the government to parliament, also included proposals to merge the banking and insurance watchdogs, and create a national market regulatory administration, with Xi eager to counter risks in the financial sector.
The reform plan is expected to be approved on Saturday after deliberations by the National People's Congress, China's parliament. It would be the first large-scale institutional reform by the Chinese government in five years.
A new ministry of ecological environment will be in charge of mapping out environmental policy, nuclear and radiation safety, and tackling sea, river and groundwater pollution.
The ministry will absorb the function of the current Ministry of Environmental Protection.
A ministry to manage China's natural resources will be also launched. Following the establishment of the new ministry, the Ministry of Land and Resources and the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation will be dismantled.
China, meanwhile, has started to seriously crack down on domestic companies that are believed to have flouted regulations, in an attempt to curb credit risks.
Last month, the government decided to take control of Anbang Insurance Group, owner of the luxury Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, for one year, saying illicit management of the Chinese insurer had undermined its solvency.
The new banking and insurance regulatory commission will be created by merging the China Banking Regulator Commission and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.
In another development, the government plans to set up an international development cooperation agency, at a time when China has been trying to bolster its political and economic influence across the globe.
In recent years, China has sought to expand infrastructure networks in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa to achieve its goal of connecting countries along the ancient Silk Road more closely, under the "One Belt, One Road" initiative.
The new ministry will be responsible for accelerating the signature project of Xi.
On Tuesday, a bill to outline a new anti-graft agency was also submitted to the National People's Congress, as Xi has promised to intensify the fight against corruption.
The bill is expected to be approved by parliament next Tuesday, the final day of its annual session that began on March 5.
A provision regarding the new anti-graft agency was already adopted Sunday by parliament to be inserted in China's Constitution -- the first constitutional amendment since 2004.