The Daily Mail, Pakistan
China's ecological protection picks up steam
By Yuan Yuan  ·  2020-07-09  ·   Source: Daily Mail
During an inspection tour of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northwest China, President Xi Jinping visited Wuzhong, where the Yellow River flows through the city's center, on June 8. 

"[Xi's] visiting the same river four times in one year indicates the importance of the ecological protection of the Yellow River for our country," a commentary by Xinhua News Agency said. 

Since 2012, the Central Government has put more emphasis on protecting the environment, which has been damaged by rapid economic development. The revised Environmental Protection Law that took effect in early 2015 provides stricter rules for environmental protection supervision and harsher punishment for any deeds that harm the ecological environment. 

Huang Runqiu, Minister of Ecology and Environment, announced during the Third Session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) in May that seven of the nine binding targets set for evaluating environmental protection work in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) had been achieved by the end of 2019. Huang's words were backed up by a report issued by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) on June 2, which showed that China saw a steadily improving environment in 2019.A national strategy The Yellow River, the second longest river in the country, is the cradle of China's civilization. The 5,464-km-long waterway spans nine provinces and autonomous regions, supplies water to more than 60 cities, feeds about 12 percent of China's population and supports 14 percent of the national GDP. It is on the priority list of ecological protection. Since the 1990s, the river has faced ecological challenges such as flow cutoff, contamination and silt buildup that might lead to floods. Given the fragile environment along the river, the government put forward a series of new measures to strengthen ecological protection and boost high-quality development. 

After stressing the importance of the river's ecological protection last August in Lanzhou, capital city of Gansu Province in northwest China, Xi set ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River Basin as a major national strategy at a symposium in Henan Province in central China on September 15, 2019. In May, amid the slowdown of the economy and uncertainties brought on by the novel coronavirus outbreak, Xi visited the Yellow River in Shanxi Province in north China. After the annual sessions of the 13th NPC and the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) concluded in Beijing in late May, the president visited the Yellow River again in Ningxia. Intensive measures have been taken to enhance ecological protection and control along the river this year. In late May, drawing on the experience of mapping sewage outlets along the Bohai Sea and the Yangtze last year to control sewage discharge, the MEE launched a similar campaign to improve the environment along the banks of the Yellow River. 

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