NPC Deputies Appeal for Enacting Law on Sand Prevention, Control

Deputies to China's top legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), from Xinjiang have urged the early enactment of a law on sand prevention and control, in a bid to curb the intensifying desertification in parts of the country.

Many areas in China are facing a serious ecological crisis and the living conditions there are worsening, said the deputies, citing statistics that deserts, the Gobi and desertified areas account for 17.6 percent of China's total land area, affecting 29 provinces and autonomous regions, mostly in northwest, north and northeast China.

The deputies are here attending an 11-day annual NPC session which began Monday. Sandstorms that attacked Beijing in the early days of the NPC session aroused the deputies' worry about the worsening environment.

They attributed worsening desertification partly to the absence of laws for sand prevention and control.

Also, there is now no legal means to guarantee the legitimate rights and interests of whose who are working to control sand, dampening their enthusiasm.

According the deputies, Xinjiang, in northwest China, has the largest desertified area in the country, covering nearly half of its land. And desertification there is expanding at an annual rate of over 400 square kilometers.

(People’s Daily 03/09/2001)