China on Monday defended its policy on banning the imports of solid waste after a U.S. official expressed concerns that the ban could cause a fundamental disruption in global supply chains for scrap materials.
"The concerns are neither reasonable nor have any legal basis," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a daily press briefing in response to a U.S. representative's remark at the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Council for Trade in Goods last Friday.
According to reports, at the meeting the U.S. official said that China's import restrictions on recycled commodities had caused a fundamental disruption in the global supply chains for scrap materials,directing them away from productive reuse and towards disposal.
"It's very hypocritical of the U.S. to say China is breaching its WTO duty," Hua said. She pointed out that if the United States thought it legitimate to restrict exports of high-tech and high-value-added products, then China's ban on foreign waste imports should not be illegal.
"Restricting and banning the imports of solid waste is an important measure China has taken to implement the new development concept, improve environmental quality and safeguard people's health," Hua said.
Hua said that according to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, every country has the right to ban the entry of foreign hazardous waste and other sorts of waste.
"We hope that the U.S. can reduce and manage hazardous waste and other waste of its own and take up more duties and obligations." Geng said.