Experts Call for China, ROK, Japan Cooperation in Sandstorm Control

Three senior environmental protection experts Friday called for cooperation among China, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan in controlling daily worsening sandstorms.

In response to a question on sandstorms that usually hit China, ROK or Japan, NPC deputies Sun Honglie and Wang Tao said the sandstorms that hit China, ROK and part of Japan mostly come from the People's Republic of Mongolia and Central Asia.

Qu Geping, chairman of the NPC Environment and Resources Protection Committee, said that China is subject to sandstorm attacks since ancient times, but it has become more and more frequent in recent times due to successive dry years and denudation of vegetation, overgrazing, he noted.

The harsh natural conditions in deserts of Central Asia and Mongolia are easy to induce sandstorms due to little rainfalls and denudation of vegetation, he said.

The special climatic and topographic conditions mentioned above are beyond the means of man even by employing the latest technology, said Sun Honglie. But the frequency and scope of infestation of the sandstorms may be controlled by planting more trees, restoring and improving ecological environment, the scientist said.

It was learned that China has invested more than 700 million yuan in Beijing, Chengde and Zhangjiakou for planting trees.

(People's Daily 03/10/2001)