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Watchful eyes on the environment

China Daily,March 22, 2018 Adjust font size:

At a news conference on the sidelines of the first session of the 13th National People's Congress, the top legislature, on Saturday, Li Ganjie, the minister of environmental protection and chief-to-be of the newly-approved Ministry of Ecological Environment, said the central government's environmental protection inspections will be maintained as part of the efforts to strengthen environmental protection. comments:

Since they were launched, the central government's environmental protection inspections have won people's praise.

However, there are some local officials who hold a wait-and-see attitude, believing the campaign will not last long and "yesterday's story" of polluting for profits will be repeated after they cease some day. But such hopes are in vain, since instead of ending the inspections the top authorities are resolved to strengthen ecological and environmental protection.

It is good that local officials have felt the "pain" of the central government's environmental protection inspections, because it rids them of the illusion that they can somehow circumvent the environmental protection directives from the top. If the strict environmental inspections are maintained, there is no reason for local governments not to regard environmental protection as a top priority and officials will think twice before putting economic interests before the environment.

Although the central environmental protection inspection teams usually stay in one province for only a month, the environmental protection overhaul they initiate is by no means a transient gust of wind. Aside from possibly being inspected again at any time, a regular long-term platform and mechanism has been established for the public to report any malpractices and malfeasance related to environmental protection.

Local governments should transform their mindsets in earnest and realize that the top leadership was not speaking lightly when it said, "We need not only gold and silver hills but also clean water and green hills." They should extend green and low-carbon development to every aspect of economic and social development so people can enjoy blue skies and clean water.