While China is playing a greater role in the world's manufacturing sector, some senior lawmakers and officials here have warned of the entry of foreign garbage.
In recent years, various kinds of garbage from developed countries have kept flowing into China via different channels. Such a danger has aroused the attention of Chinese lawmakers, now attending the annual session of the National People's Congress.
"If urgent actions were not taken, China might become a dumping ground for garbage from developed countries," said Xie Taijian, an NPC deputy from south China's Guangdong Province.
In 2001, the customs in the province uncovered large amount of imported garbage including used tires, clothes, home appliances and computers.
Foreign garbage is also rampant in other areas. During the last Spring Festival in February, the Taizhou Customs in Zhejiang Province detected 466.66 tons of household garbage which mainly contained used ring-pull cans and plastic film. In last December, the Lianyungang Customs in Jiangsu Province intercepted 339 tons of solid waste, which was shipped back to the Republic of Korea.
It is estimated that more than 500 million tons of toxic wastes were produced around the world, with a growing portion of which being transferred to developing countries.
"We have noticed the entry and are preparing to enact laws to ward off foreign garbage," Guangdong Governor Lu Ruihua said.
The fact is also true that some companies are importing foreign wastes aiming to make a profit while ignoring laws and rules on environmental protection.
"Though there exist short-term profits in such a business, the harm is serious and will be long-lasting," said Huang Guosheng, a senior research with the Guangdong Electronic Technology Research Institute.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2002)