China to strengthen law enforcement, enhance environmental laws

China will strengthen enforcement of new environmental laws, Chen Jining, China’s new minister of environmental protection said at a press conference in Beijing on Monday.

The minister promised that his first mission is to improve the environment in accordance with environmental laws, in reply to a question about some environmental departments failing to abide by the law.

“In the past, environmental laws were enforced leniently by some departments. Failing to abide by the law has become normal. The law cannot be broken. Enterprises and governments both need to observe the law, which is not a harsh requirement but a limit. If they can’t abide by it, then how do we count on them protecting the environment? So now, our new environmental laws have provided many opportunities. But a lot of things remain to be done,” said Chen.

In response to a question regarding the Ministry of Environment’s plans improve interaction with the public and media, to better understand the issues people are concerned about, Chen said that the information transparency was vital for environmental management. He added that the ministry will strengthen contact with the public and media through Wechat among other platforms.

“We welcome your candid criticism of environmental departments, so we know whether we are fulfilling with our responsibilities, we doing a good job, and living up to public expectations,” Said Chen.