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China to launch river, lake protection campaign

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China will stage a campaign to address salient problems damaging or polluting its rivers and lakes in the second half of the year, according to the Ministry of Water Resources.

The campaign consists of four operations with two concerning illegal shorefront occupation and solid waste disposal along the Yangtze River, according to an online statement from the ministry.

A thorough inspection and rectification program will be completed before the end of this year to tackle solid waste along China's longest river, according to the ministry.

Restoration of the river's ecological environment is high on the agenda in developing the Yangtze River economic belt. The Ministry of Ecology and Environment has sent teams to regions along the belt to inspect the illegal discharge of solid waste.

Waste dumping in reservoirs and illegal sand mining are also targeted by the action plan with efforts by "river chiefs" and "lake chiefs" in strengthening law enforcement and resources management.

River chiefs and lake chiefs are responsible for the management and protection of water resources. There are now around 320,000 river chiefs at various levels nationwide.

China is waging a tough war against ecological and environmental pollution. On Wednesday, a three-year action plan was announced to markedly improve air quality.

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