China pledges to control pollution at any cost

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Photo: China.com.cn

“We must ensure that the law will work as a powerful and effective tool in fighting pollution, instead of being as soft as a cotton candy”, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at a press conference after the closing ceremony of 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) held in Beijing on March 15.

Li made the remark in response to the question whether big oil companies like Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corp are creating obstacles to the enforcement of environmental protection laws and policies.

In fact, this question is also raised in a documentary called Under the Dome made by a former CCTV anchor Chai Jing. It was posted online just a few days before the beginning of the Two Sessions and attracted the whole nation’s attention in a very short time for touching upon the notorious air pollution issue in Beijing.

As the newly revised environmental protection law, put in force on January 1, 2015, will be a focus of government’s work this year, any company responsible for illegal emissions would be brought to justice, even with a “cost too high to bear”, no matter what kind of company it is, Li warned.

Li also said that compared with last year’s government work report which put the part concerning environmental protection in an “inconspicuous” place, this year the target for energy conservation and emission reduction has been put together with other major targets of economic and social development.

“In this year’s government report, many parts including adjusting the economic structure or improving the quality of fuel use are connected with environmental treatment,” Li said, “This is going to take a process and requires the joint efforts of the whole society.”


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