China urged to pump up ‘toilet revolution’ efforts

Public toilets on Tiananmen Square in Beijing

Chinese president Xi Jinping issued a directive last Monday for continued efforts in improving the country’s toilet conditions, in order to encourage greater domestic tourism and international arrivals.

The campaign, termed ‘toilet revolution’, was first launched in April 2015 to upgrade hygiene and living standards in both rural and urban areas, reported Xinhua News Agency.

Public toilets on Tiananmen Square in Beijing

The China National Tourism Administration recently announced plans to build and upgrade 64,000 toilets between 2018 and 2020.

In his recent address, Xi urged the country to maintain its efforts in improving public toilets, announcing: “This work must be a concrete part of advancing our country’s revitalising strategy and we must make great efforts to fill these shortcomings that affect the quality of life of the masses.”

Under the ‘toilet revolution’ campaign, the central government has reportedly pumped more than RMB1 billion (US$150 million) into revamping more than 68,000 public toilets, exceeding its initial three-year goal of 57,000.

An example includes popular Beijing tourist attraction Temple of Heaven, a park whose toilet-paper dispensers are fitted with facial recognition technology that limits each user to 60cm of paper every nine minutes.

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