A string of recent mine disasters, in which hundreds of miners died, led the country's work safety authorities to organize a nationwide televised meeting yesterday.
The meeting followed the State Council's conference on work safety on Friday, and urged governments at all levels to adopt stricter measures to protect the lives of miners.
"Enterprises turning a deaf ear to safety regulations and management processes are the main reason for the recent disasters," said Zhao Tiechui, deputy director of the State Administration of Work Safety Supervision.
A massive and continuous inspection campaign is soon expected to determine whether the central government's ordered shutdown of unqualified coal mines is being implemented, according to Zhao.
"The evil supporting organizations behind those unqualified mines should be dismantled in line with the law," Zhao said yesterday, urging on thousands of China's safety officials attending the conference in the branch-meeting rooms of provincial and county safety authorities.
Zhao also asked governments at different levels as well as enterprises to study the Law of Production Safety which was recently passed by the National People's Congress and is scheduled to take effect on November 1, 2002.
For the spate of disasters since May, Zhao said nothing has been spared in the rescue efforts, and the injured have been well taken care of.
At Friday's conference, Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Bangguo called on officials at various levels to take tough measures to tackle problems affecting workshop safety in order to prevent fatal accidents.
After listening to a report on the results of safety inspections of workshops across the country, Wu said more efforts are needed to rectify problems, close down small and accident-prone coal mines, and remove any hidden dangers in state-owned large and medium-sized coal mines.
(China Daily July 8, 2002)