March 7, 2009

Official: Keep polluters off Yangtze

The Chinese government should keep potential polluters away from the Yangtze River by raising regulatory standards there, an official said Saturday.

Chen Qinghua, a member of the 11th National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said Beijing ought to retool the industrial layout along the river and raise environmental standards, Xinhua reported.

We must set quotas on and raise (the) threshold for potential polluting plants along the Yangtze River to wipe out pollution from the roots, Chen was quoted by the state-run news agency as saying.

Xinhua noted that nearly 10,000 of the 21,000 chemical companies in China are along the Yangtze River, while more than 20 chemical industry parks were under construction along the major waterway.

Chen also called on the national government to invest in development along the Yangtze.

We should take the opportunity to improve sewage treatment facilities in cities, and move faster to readjust industrial layout and structure along the river, Chen said.