BIZCHINA / What They Are Saying

Give law greater clout in battle against pollution
By Jiang Ping (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-07-31 10:12

On November 13, 2005, a blast at the Jilin Chemical Plant caused the leakage of tons of benzene, aniline and nitrobenzene into the Songhua River. This, in turn, threatened the health of millions of people living along its banks, whose drinking water comes from the river.

Water is indispensable to farming, industry, communications and people's everyday lives. This shows the vital importance of protecting water resources, which is an integral part of our environmental protection efforts.

The conflicting interests of localities in the upper and lower reaches of the Songhua River asserted themselves in this accident.

Under such circumstances, the enforcement of environmental laws needs to be strengthened, taking into account that we have already had a fairly complete set of environmental legislation in place.

Environmental matters, particularly those covering water resources, involve public and private rights, which sometimes conflict with each other.

Environmental protection, social security, compulsory education and healthcare undertakings, for example, fall under the category of public services. The development of China's market economy over the past three decades or so has created sharp gaps between the demand for and supply of such public services, while largely meeting the demand for private goods such as TV sets, cars and housing.
Page: 123

(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)