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Ex-university president to head China’s environment agency

February 27, 2015

BEIJING (AP) — A former university president was appointed Friday to lead China’s efforts to clean up the environment.

Chen Jining is a scholar trained in environmental engineering and led China’s prestigious Tsinghua University for the past three years. The central government’s website posted the notice that the standing committee of the National People’s Congress had named him as minister of environmental protection.

He has the daunting task of cleaning up air, water and soil severely polluted by the heavy industries that have fueled China’s rapid economic growth. But amid public concern, Beijing wants to strengthen enforcement of its environmental protection rules.

Chen, 51, replaced outgoing minister Zhou Shengxian.

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