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|Wednesday, April 11, 2001, updated at 15:36(GMT+8)|
China to Invest More in Environmental ProtectionChina will invest more in protecting the environment during the current Five-Year Plan (2001- 2005), said a leading environmental official Tuesday.
Wang Yuqing, vice minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), said the nation will enhance its work so that the public have more awareness of how to protect the environment and prevent more land from turning into desert.
According to Wednesday's China Daily, the central government spent about 34 billion yuan (about US$4 billion) on improving the environment from 1996 to 2000. During the period from 1991 to 1995, the figure stood at 3.5 billion (US$420 million).
However, desertification remains a real concern for people in north China, the region has been hit repeatedly by sandstorms in recent years.
In addition to the weather, the "impaired" environment is considered by experts to be the major reason for sandstorms.
In order to reduce them, it is crucial to improve the environment, especially by protecting vegetation on the ground, as the ability to control the weather is limited, said Wang Tao, vice-director of the research institute for environment of frigid and drought zones under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
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