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China to launch land subsidence control projects

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BEIJING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- China will launch four projects to bring land subsidence problems under control by 2020, the Ministry of Land and Resources said Tuesday.

These projects will include a nationwide survey, the establishment of monitoring networks in affected areas and increased control over underground water-pumping, the ministry said, citing a national guideline to prevent land subsidence during the 2011-2020 period.

China plans to complete a land subsidence research project by 2015 in areas with high-speed railways, according to the guideline.

The guideline has been approved by the State Council, or China's cabinet.

Land subsidence, caused by natural factors or human activity such as over-exploitation of groundwater and construction of large buildings, has plagued more than 50 cities in China. Areas in the Yangtze River Delta, north China and the Fenhe and Huaihe River basins have been seriously affected, the ministry said.

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