China Fights Off Invading Moths and Weevils
Local governments in coastal and border provinces and regions had signed a "document of responsibility" to stop such pests entering China, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement on its Web site (www.agri.gov.cn).
In the 1970s, China discovered just one foreign pest species, but in the first eight years of this century it had found almost 20, the ministry said.
Some of the most serious pests include rice water weevils, which attack rice crops, and codling moths, originally from Europe and whose larvae feed on apples and pears.
"For a long time it has been hard to deal with the serious situation due to a lack of surveillance and money spent on prevention, and the fact that our methods of inspection are backward," the statement said.
The government would soon announce a new surveillance system and other policies to help control the problem, it added.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)