China / Society

China to increase checks on burial sites

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-01-10 17:10

BEIJING - The Chinese government will increase inspections of burial sites as it clamps down on the amount of land that is being is used, vice civil affairs minister Dou Yupei said on Friday.

Authorities are strengthening efforts to deal with excessively big or luxury burial plots, said Dou during an online chat with netizens on the Chinese government's official website,

The government will invest more to improve on the building of columbaria and non-profit cemeteries and promote the use of biodegradable urns and ecological tombs, according to Dou.

The minister said the government will encourage green funerals and burials that take up smaller pieces of or no land, such as sea burials.

Funerals and cemetery plots are a platform to show off wealth and connections, with cost and size symbolizing the "achievements" of the dead, and setting a benchmark for competition.

Chinese officials have been told to set an example through civilized and frugal funerals as part of central authorities' anti-extravagance move last month.

"In densely populated regions the bodies of CPC members and officials must be cremated... and their gravestones should not exceed standards," it said, adding that funerals for those of ethnic groups may be held in accordance with tradition.

China's on-going funeral reform will improve social ethos and cut the use of natural resources such as land and wood, Dou said.

Hot Topics