21 Mar, 2018

Chinese lawmakers push to build “Beautiful China”

Source: Xinhua| 2018-03-19 20:31:16|Editor: Mengjie

BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhua) — China’s national legislature approved on Saturday 17 March 2018, the forming of a Ministry of Ecological Environment.

The new ministry will incorporate the old environment ministry with relevant functions segmented in other ministries, enabling the government to accelerate environmental protection and ecological conservation in a more comprehensive way.

It was part of a massive cabinet restructuring plan adopted at the ongoing session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), with the ministry’s chief Li Ganjie appointed Monday.

“Forming the ministry shows the government’s determination to intensify environmental protection,” said Wen, an NPC deputy.

Pollution control has been identified as one of the country’s “critical battles” in the coming two years, along with financial risk prevention and poverty alleviation.

Chinese leaders have repeatedly stressed that the government must take action to build a “Beautiful China, where the skies are blue, the land is green and the waters are clear.”

The forming of the Ministry of Ecological Environment is considered the latest move to have such a goal fulfilled.

The new ministry will better carry out duties such as environment monitoring and law enforcement, Li Ganjie said on the sidelines of the NPC session Saturday.

Other measures taken included wide-ranging inspections and severe punishment in pollution cases.

According to Li, around 20,000 people including high-ranking officials have been held accountable for environment-related misconduct since four rounds of central authority inspections were launched over the past two years.

The country has enacted or modified six pieces of legislation concerning environmental protection, air pollution, water pollution, marine environment, environment tax and wildlife protection, Zhang Yesui, a spokesperson for the national legislature’s session, said on March 4.

“The NPC Standing Committee will continue to review a draft law on soil pollution and revise a law on solid waste pollution,” Zhang said. “China will build a stringent legal system to protect the environment.”