China Revises Environmental Protection Law

June 13, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. revise [ri-VAHYZ] (v.) – to change something
Example: The university revised its admission rules to allow foreign students to enroll.

2. ecological [ek-uh-LOJ-i-kuh l, ee-kuh-] (adj.) – referring to the interactions between organisms and their environment
Example: Modernization has led to several ecological problems.

3. toughen [TUHF-uh n] (v.) – to make something stronger or firmer
ExampleThe new agreement toughened the relationship between the two countries.

4. whistle-blower [HWIS-uh l-bloh-er, WIS-]  (n.) – a person who informs the authorities about another person’s crimes
ExampleThe whistle-blower exposed the company’s environmental violations.

5. take effect  [teyk ih-FEKT] (phrasal v.) – to begin the implementation of something, especially a rule or a law
Example: All students were informed that the new regulation on proper attire takes effect today.


Read the text below.
After 25 years, the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) has decided to revise its Environmental Protection Law.

This revision is in response to China’s need for establishing solid requirements in ecological protection. As one of the world’s most polluted countries, China must have more efficient ways of monitoring the environment and the public’s health.

The original law had 47 articles. After the revision, it became 70, setting environmental protection as the country’s basic policy.

The NPC’s Standing Committee Chairman Zhang Deijang [jang dey-chang] emphasized that the new law requires economic and social development to be coordinated with environmental protection. It also encourages further research and monitoring procedures to ensure people’s health as well as to find ways to prevent and control diseases caused by pollution.

The new law also toughens penalties for offenders, which includes a 15-day detention. Furthermore, the new law aims to deal with smog, to raise public awareness, and to protect whistle-blowers.

The new law gives heavy responsibilities on local government units and law enforcement departments. It also sets higher environmental criteria for enterprises, and gives harsher punishments.

In addition, the new law also encourages the public to not only obey the law but also to exert more effort to protect the environment. People are encouraged to recycle and practice low-carbon and environment-friendly lifestyle.

The new law will take effect on January 1, 2015 and will adopt June 5 as the National Environment Day.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think this new law can improve the condition of China’s environment? Explain.
·         What else can China do to address its environmental issues? Explain.

Discussion B

·         Would you say that your environment is clean? Why or why not?
·         What are the laws in your country that address environmental issues?

June 13, 2014