BEIJING — Of the 9.77 million Chinese who died in 2014, 4.46 million, or 45.6 percent, were cremated, the Ministry of Civil Affairs announced on April 4.
The world’s most populous nation is promoting eco-friendly burial and funeral practices ahead of the traditional Qingming holiday, when Chinese pay respect to deceased family members.
In China, burial is popular due to the traditional belief that bodies have to be kept intact.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs is encouraging people to choose land-saving and eco-friendly burials, including scattering ashes around trees and flowers or into the ocean.
The ministry has also vowed to work with price and commerce authorities to regulate burial service fees.