Latest News:  
Beijing   Thundershower/Overcast    31 / 24 ℃  City Forecast

English>>China Politics

Lawmakers seek to give public more legal teeth in environmental affairs

By Yan Hao (Xinhua)

08:57, August 31, 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- China's national lawmakers are debating to what extent the public should be allowed to participate in, and how much negotiating power the public should have, in environmental issues set by the government.

With increasing numbers of protests against controversial government projects in China, members of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, the country's top legislature, on Thursday agreed that a draft amendment to the Environmental Protection Law should address rising public discontent.

"When the public has inadequate channels for expressing their concerns and protecting their interests, the existing laws will not work for environmental protection," lawmaker Xie Kechang said during the first reading of the draft amendment.

China's Environmental Protection Law was introduced in 1979 and has stood unchanged since it was officially enacted in 1989, when the country's economy started to boom by becoming the world's leading manufacturing hub.

As booming industries consume massive amounts of water, soil, minerals, labor and other resources, the public have less tolerance for, and more awareness of, hazardous pollution, which also led to the environmental protection agency being upgraded to a Cabinet-level organ in March 2008.

"The law should add an open and effective procedure for the public to participate in approving a government project that may arouse environmental concerns," Xie said.

The local government in the eastern city of Qidong last month canceled an industrial waste pipeline project hours after thousands of angry residents protested against the planned project.

The protest came on the heels of similar demonstrations against industrial projects in the southwestern city of Shifang in July and in the northeastern city of Dalian last year.

Most viewed commentaries

World News in Photo
Cool moments of this summer Iran: Finding Mr. Right harder than job hunt Japan stuck in neighbors' anger
Secret skinny dip: Swim in your birthday suit! DPRK's top leader inspects defense front Uncover the secret of gold bars production


【1】 【2】


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. China's strategic missiles realize mobile launch

  2. A glimpse of pureness in Alaska’s wild

  3. Joining the 500 Club

  4. Helping hands

  5. Underwater Dancing

  6. 2012 Award Photos---National Geographic

Most Popular


  1. Rumors more credible than officials for netizens
  2. Commentary: Domestic demand engine for growth
  3. Taiwan's position key for Diaoyu Islands issue
  4. Carrier not right envoy for South Pacific
  5. Commentary: Another realty boom not needed
  6. Red moon threat reflects hollow fears on space
  7. Japanese diplomat in letter mission
  8. Editorial: Erring on side of caution
  9. Commentary: Transition of economy starts
  10. Chinese abroad must have better protection

What's happening in China

Landmark building demolished in Chongqing, SW China

  1. 'Special-ability' class ordered shut
  2. Names required to buy cold medicine in E China
  3. Varsity whistle blower has 'important clues'
  4. Shenzhen vetoes second-child proposal
  5. Experts allay fears over quake damage

China Features

  1. Regimen: spleen-friendly diets during White Dew
  2. Watch out hay fever during Bai Lu
  3. Man pricked by syringe with HIV
  4. Large windmill in northern Shaanxi Plateau
  5. Japan aids armed forces of China's neighbors

PD Online Data

  1. Ministry of Water Resources
  2. Ministry of Railways
  3. People's Bank of China
  4. Ministry of Health
  5. Ministry of Culture