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February 26, 1985

China, where more than six million people die each year, has ordered cremations to replace most burials in an effort to save valuable land. The official New China News Agency, quoting new regulations, said that violations in areas requiring cremation will be punished but did not specify the areas or what the punishment would be. Cremation has been required in cities and some rural areas since the mid-1950s, but burial rites still prevail in the countryside.

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