China will continue to improve the quality of its territorial waters and its islands and coastal ecology, a senior official said. [Special Coverage]
Fang Jianmeng, deputy director of the State Oceanic Administration, told reporters on Wednesday that the government plans to restore the environment of 85 square kilometers of coastal wetlands and to improve the ecology in 66 bays and 50 islands before the end of 2020.
The nation's overall marine environment is getting better, he said, and added that the area of clean seas was 227,000 sq km in 2016, 15,000 sq km more than that of 2015. However, there were 37,000 sq km that remained severely polluted last year, he said.
Fang noted that the administration has requested local oceanic authorities to open more coastal areas to the public for tourism and leisure.
He also added that the country will set up 10 to 20 marine economy demonstration zones before 2020 to boost the development of marine industries.