Third Session
10th National People's Congress and
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference

Emergency Action Urged to Keep Red Fire Ants off Beijing

Prompt, effective measure should be taken to stop hazardous red fire ants from making inroads into north China where the national capital of Beijing is located, said a Chinese lawmaker here Sunday at the ongoing session of the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature.
Zhang Zhongning, a NPC deputy to the NPC session, proposed for a thorough-going check in the regions where the red fire ant, or solenopsis invicta, was discovered with high vigilance attached to its possible advent in the Beijing area.
Red fire ant, originated in South America, entered North America in the 1930s and proceeded to Australia, New Zealand and China's Taiwan Province in early 21st century. The pest eats away plants' roots, stems, leaves and fruits of plants, apart from stinging human beings and animals when disturbed. Repeated stings from a swarm could lead people to have chest pains, nausea, shock or, in extremely rare cases, coma or even death.
The fire ants can bring huge damages to cropland and electrical wires, acknowledged Zhang, a scientist from Institute of Zoology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The ants can cause an annual economic loss of some 5 billion and 1.2 billion US dollars in the United States and Germany respectively.
Fire ant mounds were spotted in some areas of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and neighboring Guangdong Province, both in southern China in January this year. The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture listed the insect as one of the 85 destructive pests that require quarantine checks of goods imported and one of 33 pests subjected for domestic regular quarantine.
The NPC deputy suggested quarantine control be tightened so as to stem the pest from pestering an even larger area of the country. The pests are likely to survive in south, east, central and southwestern China and some areas in North China, according to Zhang.
The legislator also proposed accelerating the pace of enacting a law on imported destructive pest. Last year, Zhang made a similar proposal with an aim to guard China against inbreaks of a baleful American moth, drawing extensive attention from relevant government departments, researchers and the general public.
So far, examinations on grounds to nurse flowers, seedlings, potted landscapes and vegetables, where the ants tend to breed, are proceeding smoothly, and all items and objects likely to hide the ants have to be checked meticulously before entering China, said the Ministry of Agriculture in an emergency circular released earlier this year.

(Xinhua News Agency March 13, 2005)


Print This Page E-mail This Page Return To Home

Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: Tel: 86-10-68326688