Home>News Center>China

Pollution blights many cities in China
By Qin Chuan (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-06-03 00:53

More than half of 500 Chinese cities failed to meet national air quality standards last year.

The areas suffered potentially harmful air quality, a survey of 500 cities by the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) claims.

A small cement plant, one of more than a dozen in Yongshan, a town in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, East China, belches out smoke and dust yesterday. Locals are concerned of the damage to health. [newsphoto]

And nearly one-third of non-industrial sewage in the cities went untreated. In 193 other cities, no treatment was carried out at all, the report revealed.

The findings are likely to cause widespread concern.

As urbanization speeds up in China - posing increasing pressure on the urban environment - the Chinese Government has given top priority to environmental protection in cities.

But given the latest findings, such protection has yet to yield notable results.

There are 661 cities on the Chinese mainland - home to 41.7 per cent of the population.

The metropolises also generate 65.5 per cent of the nation's gross domestic product - but all at a huge cost to the environment.

Wang Jirong, vice-minister of the administration, told journalists yesterday in Beijing: "In the past two decades, China has been facing environmental problems which developed countries met with over one century."

Making reasonable development plans, building sufficient and effectively operated infrastructure and continuing the improvement of urban environment are among the recommended measures, SEPA's release said.

The administration started to examine environmental management and improvement in 1989.

According to Wang Yuqing, SEPA vice-minister, the number of complaints about environmental problems in China has been growing by 30 per cent annually, showing that pollution has a serious impact on the quality of life of the public.

New experiments

Wang said the three cities - Guiyang in Southwest China's Guizhou Province, Rizhao in East China's Shandong Province and Zhangjiagang in East China's Jiangsu Province - are experimenting with a circular, or recycling, economy under the administration's instruction.

A circular economy, the most efficient use of energy and resources, is being widely promoted as a way to address a widely held view that economic development and environmental protection are often at odds with each other.

Guiyang's legislature even passed a regulation on developing the circular economies, which is the country's first of its kind, Wang said.

In addition, the administration is helping the National Development and Reform Commission to design policies that are expected to develop circular economies across the country, he added.

To encourage cities, the administration has so far labelled 47 as national models for environmental protection. This scheme started in 1997.

More than 100 cities are asking to take part in the programme.

The report comes just days ahead of World Environment Day which falls this Sunday.

(China Daily 06/03/2005 page1)

  Today's Top News     Top China News

China opposes UNSC enlargement with Japan



Over 70 dead as floods destroy many homes



IOC: All's well on Olympic construction



Small carmakers rise in large China market



Pollution blights many cities in China



Koizumi hints at shrine visit plan, again


  Over 70 dead as floods destroy many homes
  China opposes UNSC enlargement with Japan
  IOC: All's well on Olympic construction
  Graduates receive help in finding jobs
  Beijing's firecracker ban may go up in smoke
  Hailstones dent insurance firms
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008