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China ‘declares war’ on pollution

Asia – Chinese prime minister Li Keqiang says his country is preparing to ‘declare war’ on pollution. His comments came as China formally strengthened its environmental protection legislation for the first time in 25 years.

The Xinhuanet news service reported that China′s National People′s Congress (NPC) has adopted major revisions to the 1989 Environmental Protection Law, which now comprises 70 articles compared with 47 in its previous form. The revised law, due to enter into effect at the start of next year, encourages the public to make their own efforts to protect the environment, including sorting their waste for recycling.

China aims to control, or better still prevent, pollution-related diseases. Its expanded legislation demands better coordination of economic and social development with environmental protection, and promotes reseasrch into the impact of the environment on public health.

The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) commented that tougher environmental protection law is mainly of concern to Chinese companies and ′bears no direct consequences on international trade′. However, the trade body considers it likely that Chinese companies will increasingly look at working with environmentally conscious partners that abide by international environmental standards in the years ahead.

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