BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature on Monday reviewed a draft law on navigation channels in a bid to better manage and protect the country's waterways.
The draft law was submitted by the State Council, China's cabinet, to the eighth session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, which runs from Monday to Thursday.
The target of the law is to ensure clear passage and security of the country's navigation channels, to boost the economies of waterfront regions.
According to Minister of Transport Yang Chuantang, China now has about 130,000 kilometers of inland waterways. Around 11 percent of all cargo in China is transported by waterways, Yang said.
However, compared with countries such as the United States and Germany, China's utilization of its waterways is still unsatisfactory, he said, citing unscientific waterway planning, insufficient networking, as well as waterway-blocking, -crossing and -adjacent architectures and illegal sand excavation activities that threatened to close navigation channels.
The draft law laid down requirements for the planning, construction and maintenance of navigation channels, and for the construction of waterway-blocking, -crossing and -adjacent architectures.
Construction of waterway-related projects can only be approved after they have passed impact assessments by relevant authorities, the draft said.
China currently has in force a Regulations on Navigation Channel Management, which came into effect in 1987.
The draft law on navigation channels was approved by the State Council earlier in April.
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