Lawmakers to seek stronger waterways protection

Updated: 2014-04-22 07:17

By An Baijie (China Daily)

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During the bimonthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, lawmakers will also review a draft law on the protection of waterways.

According to the draft, the punishment for destroying waterways will be enhanced, and those responsible for illegal construction in the waterways could face fines of up to 1 million yuan ($160,000).

Xie Manying, deputy director of the waterways transportation bureau with the Ministry of Transport, said during a news conference on Friday that China's inland waterways have shrunk from 170,000 km 50 years ago to 130,000 km due to lack of protection.

Local governments often blame funding shortages for failing to maintain waterways, and it's urgent to make a law stipulating their obligations, she said.

Two other drafts regarding the judicial interpretation of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law will also be reviewed during the session.

Lawmakers will also review bills to approve a treaty between China and Argentina on criminal judicial assistance and the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, a document overseen by the World Intellectual Property Organization that is expected to strengthen the economic rights of film actors and other performers.

Reports on energy saving and emissions reduction, the qualifications of some NPC deputies as well as some appointments and dismissals will also be examined at the meeting, according to the agenda.

(China Daily 04/22/2014 page3)