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28 Jun, 2014

After cleaning up rivers, Chinese officials must take a dip to prove it

By Yan Yiqi

Hangzhou, (Xinhua) 2014-06-27 – Local officials in East China’s Zhejiang province will be required to swim in rivers in their administrative areas to prove to the citizens that the quality of the rivers has been improved.

The province’s CPC standing committee has stated that, by July 12, local governments in the province must nominate rivers that are clean enough to swim in. Once the nominations are approved, the officials must swim in those rivers.

Mao Linsheng, deputy director of the committee, said on Thursday that the improvement of water quality should not be shown by data alone.

“Citizens do not understand the complicated data the authorities are providing. Their criteria are whether the water is clean enough to drink or swim in. Local officials should give people this confidence by swimming in the rivers themselves,” he said.

Improving water quality is one of the most important administrative targets of the province this year. Each local official is appointed to one or several parts of a river in their administrative region. Improving the water quality is directly linked to officials’ performance assessments.