China adopts law on Yellow River conservation

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Aerial photo taken on July 21, 2021 shows the canyon scenery of the Yellow River in Jungar Banner, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese lawmakers voted on Sunday to adopt a law on the conservation of the Yellow River, as the country ramps up efforts to protect the important river.

The law, passed at a standing committee session of the National People's Congress (NPC), the top legislature, will take effect on April 1, 2023.

As China's second piece of legislation on a specific river basin after the Yangtze River Protection Law, the new law targets key problems of the Yellow River basin, including water shortages, ecological fragility and flooding.

To bolster ecological protection and restoration, the law stipulates that the country will put the restoration of nature first while combining natural restoration with artificial restoration, and will intensify the comprehensive, systemic and source management of pollution in the Yellow River basin.

The law states that the country will make economical and intensive use of water resources in the Yellow River basin, with efforts made to promote water-efficient agricultural and industrial production, as well as water-saving urban activities.

According to the law, the country will coordinate the construction of flood-control systems in the main stream and tributaries of the Yellow River to bring about the synergy of flood-control systems between basins.

It also stressed efforts to accelerate the green shift in development and optimize regional economic structures and the distribution of productive forces on the condition of ecological protection, to boost the high-quality development of the Yellow River basin.

As a landmark piece of legislation in river-basin protection, the new law will provide solid support for promoting the ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River basin in line with the rule of law, said Yuan Jie, an official with the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee. 

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