Sun, Jul 04, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Kinmen, Xiamen to cooperate on pollution problems


Kinmen and Xiamen, the gateways to direct transport links on either side of the Taiwan Strait, agreed upon a proposal yesterday to cooperate in wiping out pollution in waters off their coasts.

Representatives from Taiwan-held Kinmen Island and China's Xiamen agreed to cooperate toward that end in a seminar sponsored by the Kinmen Environmental Protection Bureau, with both sides willing to work out a set of negotiation mechanisms in a concerted move to protect the waters off and environments near their coasts.

Bureau Chief Tsai Shih-min (蔡是民) said he was upbeat on forging consensus to promote environmental protection in the waters and areas between the two sides and pointed out that about 85 percent of the garbage floating in the waters off the Kinmen coast originates from Xiamen's Jiulungjiang (九龍江) river.

Tsai, who visited Xiamen in April to take part in a forum on ocean cleaning and environmental protection, said he was touched to see the efforts made by the Xiamen authorities in this field and hopes for joint cooperation to wipe out pollution in the waters between the islands.

As Kinmen and Xiamen are keen on promoting their tourism sectors, environmentally-friendly activities are very important issues for both, Tsai said.

Echoing Tsai's view, Zhuan Shijian (莊世堅), head of the visiting Xiamen delegation and deputy director of the Xiamen environmental protection bureau, acknowledged that Jiulungjiang is a polluting source and explained that Xiamen City has allocated funds to the cleaning up of the river.

Zhuan voiced support for Tsai's proposal to jointly cooperate in protecting the waters between Kinmen and Xiamen through an institutionalized mechanism and stepped-up technology exchanges.

Kinmen and Xiamen maintain direct trade and transport links on the so-called "small three links" model in the absence of such contacts across the Taiwan Strait as a result of a long-term political stalemate between Taiwan and China.

The 20-member delegation from Xiamen traveled to Kinmen earlier the same day aboard a ferry via the "small three links" route for a three-day visit at the invitation of the Kinmen authorities.

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