China halts commercial construction spree in sea – but national defence projects to proceed

January 2, 2018

BEIJING - China won’t approve new commercial land-reclamation projects in 2018, amid rising concerns that such projects have led to severe damage of the marine ecosystem, according to a report today in Caixin.

China’s State Oceanic Administration said it would in principle stop approving general reclamation projects in 2018, except for major projects approved by the State Council.

Public infrastructure, public service and national defence projects would continue to be allowed, the state-run Legal Daily reported.

Public alarm has shot up over land reclamation, which local authorities have embraced for higher tax revenue, economic growth and better livelihoods for local residents, Caixin said.

Amid public complaints, the State Oceanic Administration in August and November dispatched teams to inspect land reclamation practices in 11 coastal provinces and cities. (ATI).