China pledges to spend more in repairing reservoirs

BEIJING, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- China will spend 62.54 billion yuan (about 9.48 billion U.S. dollars) in repairing and consolidating its legions of dangerous reservoirs across the country in the coming five years, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council held on Tuesday.

The meeting was presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

The spending plan is part of the country's efforts to combat increasingly frequent natural disasters such as floods and drought.

The majority of the nation's existing reservoirs had many problems after decades of use, which had severely affected flood-control efforts, the statement said.

Over the past three years, the government has spent more than 70 billion yuan to improve 7,356 medium- and small-sized reservoirs.

Also at the meeting, a guideline for accelerating the development of modern crops and seeds was discussed and passed. The meeting agreed to build a batch of standardized and intensive large-scale seed-planting bases by the end of 2020.

Such development would play a critical role in promoting long-term agricultural production and ensuring grain security, the statement said.

A draft regulation on land reclamation was also passed at the meeting.

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