CHINA yesterday took the Hong Kong Government to task for breaking its promise and proceeding with the Green Island reclamation project. A spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said Beijing 'strongly disapproved' of the move. The project, which involves reclaiming about 370,000 square metres by public dumping between Kennedy Town and Green Island, was gazetted on Friday. The spokesman said China, the Preliminary Working Committee's economic sub-group, and the Hong Kong people had called for a halt to new reclamation. 'This is a completely reasonable request and is good for the preservation of Hong Kong's natural resources and long-term interests,' he said. He also claimed that a senior Hong Kong official had publicly pledged not to launch any reclamation work before the hand-over. The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Bowen Leung Po-wing, admitted yesterday he had told the PWC there would be no new reclamation projects before 1997, but insisted the Green Island project 'did not relate to reclamation'. It was to be a dumping site, mainly for the disposal of construction waste. With the closure of a dumping site at Aldrich Bay there were no such sites on Hong Kong Island, he said. Construction waste has to be transported to the three sites in the New Territories or ferried to Tseung Kwan O. 'The construction industry has demanded a site on Hong Kong Island. Otherwise it will cause enormous burdens on traffic. The cost of transport is also high,' he said. Mr Leung emphasised the gazettal was aimed at seeking public views. 'We have no intention of starting work immediately,' he said. The plan to build a dumping site on Green Island did not come out of the blue, he said, it was included in the Ports and Airport Development Strategy. The Environment Advisory Committee has endorsed the project, said Mr Leung. Given that ships pass outside Green Island, instead of using the Sulphur Channel that runs between the island and Kennedy Island, he said they found no threat to the safety of vessels. PWC economic subgroup local convenor Nellie Fong Wong Kut-man said they were told by experts that the channel was vital to sea traffic. 'If this is not reclamation, what is it?' she asked.