China's toilet revolution starts to take effect

发布时间:2018-11-23 12:49:02    来源:    责编:
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation speaks at the opening of the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing, Nov. 6, 2018. [Photo courtesy of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation]

We visit this place several times a day and, according to statistics, even cumulatively spend up to three years of our lifetime there; yet it is hardly ever talked about – the toilet. 

So it is no wonder that it caused a lot of media attention when President Xi Jinping publicly called for a "toilet revolution" in China in April 2015. Back then, he called to intensify efforts to improve sanitary facilities in order to effectively increase the quality of tourism. 

Since then, the China's national tourism bureau has been implementing an ambitious three-year plan for the construction of new toilet facilities and the renovation of existing ones. China's Premier Li Keqiang, in his report of the Chinese government in March 2018, also called for the toilet revolution to be driven forward. 

According to the plan, between 2015 and 2017, 57,000 new toilets were to be built or existing ones renovated throughout the country, especially in places with high tourist traffic. The aim was not only to achieve greater access to lavatories that could be used free of charge, but also improvement in cleanliness and a fight against bad odor. The plan also aimed at making the management of the facilities more efficient.

What could be the reason behind a state's highest officials personally addressing the issue of toilet improvement?

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