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Geologists Urged to Dig Harder

Vice Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday urged Chinese geologists to contribute to the country's economic development by providing more valuable geological information for big construction projects like the Three Gorges Project, according to Wednesday's China Daily.

"We should focus our work on preventing geological disasters and making geological projects environmentally friendly," he said.

China has been involved in numerous large-scale development campaigns. Ongoing programmes include the West Development Campaign and the Three Gorges Project.

The development blueprint for the country's vast western regions demands a clear view of the areas' resource reserves, which is essential for success, Wen said.

The success of the Three Gorges Project hinges on an accurate warning system of geological disasters, such as landslides and mud-rock flows, he said.

Wen made the remarks at a ceremony for the Li Siguang Prize, the highest honour in geological studies in China. The prize is awarded once every two years. Seventeen geologists were awarded the prize yesterday.

Gong Zaisheng was selected for his work to increase the country's offshore oil reserve. Since he was appointed general geologist of the China National Offshore Oil Co-operation in 1987, the country's discovered offshore oil reserve increased from 1987's 677 million tons to 2.8 billion tons in 1999.

He said the country's need for resources to continuously fuel social and economic improvements is the foundation for further development in geological studies.


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