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China to control exploitation of Yangtze

19 March 2014
The Chinese government will adopt its strictest measures ever to control the exploitation of the Yangtze River, a reliable source told Economic Information Daily.

The National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planning body, is formulating a document on how to use the Yangtze to boost the country’s economic development. The document is expected to be released this year.

Environmental protection poses biggest challenge, the source said. The document will set out measures to reduce pollution discharges, improve sewage treatment and intensify the supervision of hazardous materials transportation.

Greater restrictions will be placed on certain industries moving up the river and steps will be taken to reduce the amount of wasteful construction. There will also be measures to protect major natural reserves, drinking water sources and wetlands in the river’s drainage area.

Although the Yangtze River supplies 35 per cent of China’s total freshwater resources, it is heavily polluted. According to the Ministry of Water Resources, 34.74bn tons of sewage was discharged into the Yangtze in 2012, an increase of 1.6 per cent from 2011. Seventy per cent of this total was industrial waste.

     
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