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China to Draft Law Promoting Circular Economy

China's top legislature has planned to draft a law to promote a "circular" economy to reduce the increasingly heavy environmental pressure on the most populous nation of the world, an official with the legislature said Friday.


"We shall begin to draft the law from later half of the year, and it will be submitted (to the legislature) for deliberation in 2007," said Sun Youhai, a law drafting official with the Environment and Resources Committee of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.


Sun made the remarks at a press conference on Sino-Italian cooperation on environmental protection, at which he also thanked the Italian government and the World Bank for their support for China's preparation in drafting the law.


China has chosen a "circular" economy as the major means to combat environmental degradation and pursue sustainable development. However, the development of the economy still lacks strong legal support, he said.


"Therefore, it is necessary to draft such a law in time to help build a sound material-recycling society," Sun said.


The "circular" economy concept developed by the Chinese government and scientists is connected with other concepts such as the "zero-waste" economy and "green" accounting developed in other countries and endorsed by international organizations such as the World Bank. The concept echoes the "reduce, reuse and recycle resources and waste" philosophy.


Italy and China have conducted fruitful cooperation on environmental protection in the past years, and the circular economy will lie at the center of the cooperation in the future, said Corrado Clini, director general with the Department for Environmental Research and Development under the Italian Ministry for Environment and Territory, at the press conference.


In July, 2004, the World Bank, Italy and China established the Italian Trust Fund for Environmental Protection in China, valued at 8.5 million US dollars.


Within the framework of the fund, said Clini, a specific activity focused on a "circular" economy had been established.


"Circular economy is new to the World Bank, but the more we learn about it, the more we like it," said Andres Liebenthal, country sector coordinator with the World Bank Office in Beijing.


He pledged that the World Bank will support China in developing a "circular" economy as it aims at efficient use of natural resources, improving management of waste and enhancing ecological value.


(Xinhua News Agency July 30, 2005)


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