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Protecting Qinling Mountains is a priority in Xi'an

By Zhao Xinying in Xi'an | China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-29 09:31
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Plum flowers blossom on the side of a highway that passes through a section of the Qinling Mountains in Pingli county, Shaanxi province, in March, 2020. Tea trees are planted on the slopes. [Photo/Xinhua]

The government of Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, will strengthen the protection of the Qinling Mountains this year and will make protecting and restoring the ecological environment around them a priority, the city's mayor said.

Last year, Xi'an's financial bureau invested 500 million yuan ($70 million) to protect the mountains, which are located in the south of the city. From this year on, the bureau will distribute 50 million yuan each year in prizes and stipends to people and organizations who are dedicated to protecting them, Li Mingyuan, mayor of the city and a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress, told China Daily on Wednesday.

As the origin of several tributaries of China's major watercourses, including the Yangtze, the Yellow and the Huaihe rivers, the Qinling Mountains are treated as the "central water tower" of the country and are an important Chinese cultural symbol, Li said, adding that preserving the ecological environment of the mountains is vital to China's development.

In late April, when President Xi Jinping made his visit to Niubeiliang National Nature Reserve, located in the mountains, he instructed local officials to be guardians of the ecological environment of this area, which is the natural boundary between the country's northern and southern regions.

Li said the city government has acted on Xi's instructions and has learned a lesson from previous illegal construction in the mountains.

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