The government issued an urgent circular Tuesday banning the use of obsolete facilities, technologies and products that may worsen the pollution in the west.
Jointly issued by the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) and the State Economic and Trade Commission, the circular urges developers not to undertake industrial projects that may result in serious environmental pollution in the west.
Such projects include paper-making, leather processing and the production of dyes.
Also prohibited is the use of obsolete manufacturing techniques and backward technologies and equipment.
The circular was issued to counteract the fact that out-of-date technologies, installations and products as well as wastes had been introduced in several western provinces.
The circular says that proposed environmental projects for the west should be examined closely by local governments to forestall any potential pollution.
Environmental protection departments at all levels in the west are required to improve their evaluations of the impact of any proposed projects that might harm the environment.
Local governments are also responsible for closing down small enterprises that have been causing heavy pollution. Such enterprises will not be allowed to open in the western region, the circular says.
The protection of the environment is the centerpiece of the plan for the sustainable development of the western area, said an official from the State Environmental Protection Administration.
The relocation of polluting industries in the west goes against and will seriously hamper the country's strategy to develop the region, the official added.
China has been calling for the protection of the environment in the west since it decided to develop the area. Recent plans include 10 projects to help protect the environment proposed by the Ministry of Water Resources in August, which involve 80 billion yuan (US$9.7 billion).
(China Daily 10/11/2000)