Vice premier stresses protection of Yangtze River
Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Monday called on officials to take concrete measures to protect and restore the Yangtze River's ecological environment.
Han, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and also head of the leading group for promoting the development of the Yangtze River economic belt, made the remarks at a symposium attended by provincial and ministerial level officials.
Han stressed that all economic activities related to the river should not damage its ecological environment, and a green, ecological and sustainable path should be pursued in developing the region.
He pointed out that the Yangtze River's ecological environment still faces a severe situation, as an inspection last year revealed serious problems such as pollution emission and ecological damage in the region.
"The top priority at present is to protect and restore the Yangtze River's ecological environment," Han said.
He called on officials to live up to their responsibilities and take concrete measures to rectify related problems.
China earlier this year unveiled an action plan to protect and restore the Yangtze River with goals including eliminating more than 90 percent of "black and odorous" water bodies in cities at or above prefecture level in the Yangtze River economic belt by the end of 2020.
Efforts should also be made to improve transport efficiency along the Yangtze River's waterways by further integrating customs clearance and other means, Han added.