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Bohai Bay to get 130 bln yuan clean-up
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The government will spend 130 billion yuan (US$18 billion) to clean up the Bohai Bay, one of the country's most contaminated marine areas.

The treatment plan is awaiting State Council approval, according to a State Oceanic Administration (SOA) official who did not wish to be named.

The Bohai Bay

The funds will be used to monitor seawater quality, establish treatment plants, tackle industrial pollution, rehabilitate coastal wetlands, plant protective trees along the coast and set up marine parks.

The clean-up is part of China's 2006-10 marine development and planning guideline recently released by the SOA, which outlines economic development, public services and ecological rehabilitation for the country's maritime areas.

"The guideline covers areas including marine resources, environment, ecology, economy, rights and security," Wang Hong, deputy director of SOA, said.

Maritime production is expected to account for more than 11 percent of the nation's GDP by 2010, according to the guideline. Maritime industries currently contribute about 10 percent of the nation's GDP. That's higher than the average 4 percent worldwide, the SOA said.

Scientific and technological development will bring about 50 percent of growth in the maritime industry by 2010, the guideline said.

Desalinated seawater is expected to provide 16 to 24 percent of water supply to the nation's coastal areas by 2010.

Public services are also a priority for the SOA, under the guideline. Early warnings for storm tides will be given six hours ahead of the event, and the alert for tsunamis will be 30 minutes prior.

The country will also tighten safeguards on its marine space, expanding annual cruise coverage for key sea areas to 1 million sqkm by 2010.

The government also said it would take part in more international maritime affairs, exploration and scientific research in a peaceful way.

(China Daily February 25, 2008)

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