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84,000 Polluters Closed in Past Five Years

Through a restructuring of various economic lines the Chinese government had closed down over 84,000 enterprises for serious pollution during the 9th Five-year Plan years 1996-2000, said Xie Zhenhua, director of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), June 5.

Xie made the remark at a news briefing held by the Information Office under the State Council, saying that after five years' efforts a curb had been placed on deteriorated environment pollution and improvement made in town and country, with the targets set for the period basically achieved.

To further reduce environment pollution, China would strive for a 10 percent cut of pollutants on the basis of the 2000 level during the 10th Five-year period (2001-2005). More efforts will be laid on a strengthening of law enforcement, adjusting product mix and industry structure and elimination of new sources of pollution.

In future five years China will put increased funds into environment protection and these will be up to an annual amount about 1.2 to 1.3 percent of the country's GDP instead of 1 percent during the 9th Five-year Plan period. Along with government investment, funds will also be raised via market channels.

Xie stressed that China would let more people take part in environment protection and release more environment information. The state will at regular intervals release news on the water quality of major rivers and that of drinking water in town and country and key enterprise' behavior in this regard. Hotlines will also be opened to report environment pollution in cities above county level before end of the year.

(People's Daily 06/06/2001)

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