The Hot Zone
China's newly announced air defense identification zone over the East China Sea aims to shore up national security
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Beijing Review Exclusive
Special> 18th CPC National Congress> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: November 20, 2012 Web Exclusvie
Better Environment, Better Life
China will be more engaged in constructing an environment-friendly society along with steady growth of economy
By Zan Jifang

The goal of building a "beautiful China" has been widely seen a highlight of the report of the 17th Central Committee of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), passed at the just concluded 18th National Congress of the Party, an important event that set a tone for the country's development in the coming years. 

The Party has shown its strong resolve to improve environmental conditions. The need to promote ecological progress was also included in the revised Party Constitution adopted at the congress, a clear-cut announcement of the Party that it will be more engaged in leading the whole nation on a path of constructing an environment-friendly society alongside the steady growth of economy. 

China's rapid economic growth paired with energy-intensive development has brought about a series of environmental problems, such as polluted air and water resources, making it urgent and necessary to adjust the development model and pursue an energy-saving and environment-friendly development strategy. 

Zhou Shengxian, Minister of the Ministry of Environment Protection as well as a delegate of the 18th CPC National Congress, said that building a "beautiful China" is an improvement of the Party's governing idea in a new era, which is crucial to driving the country toward an ecological civilization. 

"A beautiful China is a state of economic prosperity based on saving energy and resources while protecting the environment and livelihood of the people," Zhou said at a press conference held by the press center of the congress in Beijing on November 12. 

In his opinion, the key to obtaining this goal is to properly handle the relations between economic development and environment protection. 

"We must change the current tendency to pay excess attention to economic growth while overlooking environment protection. Environment protection lags behind growth, and protection of the environment relies solely on administrative measures," he said.  

He stressed the importance of economic policies on environmental protection. "Wherever environmental problems emerge, we must look to economic policies for an answer," the minister said. 

He suggested formulating an overall environment protection strategy, which encompasses the whole process of production, delivery, distribution and consumption. A series of economic policies in terms of environment protection and new standards of environment protection need to be set up, he added. 

"In the implementation of this process, we may meet with unexpected problems and so we will need new solutions," said Zhou.

Developing a green economy is considered an achievable goal. Li Jun, Party chief of Guiyang, capital city of Guizhou Province, a mountainous area in southwest China, said that the way in which resources are used needs to be changed.

"We must bear the idea of developing a recycling economy in mind throughout the entire process of production, business operation and management, utilize resources to the utmost and turn the waste into treasures," Li said at a panel discussion on November 9.

He pointed to Guiyang as an example of a city lacking in land and water resources, calling on investors to use the land's resources efficiently and develop water-saving industry.  

"The climate in Guiyang is pleasant, so we have also been making efforts to boost tourism, logistics industry, exhibition economy and ecological agriculture in order to minimize the damage to the environment," Li said.

According to Li, such efforts have paid off. From 2007 to 2012, the city's energy consumption has fallen by 26.8 percent, its forest coverage reached 42.4 percent, all of its sources for drinking water met the state requirement and the days of good air quality exceeded 95 percent of the year. 

Pushing forward the construction of ecological civilization was set as a target by the CPC in 2007 at its 17th national congress, and was redefined as a long-term task of vital importance to the people's well-being and the nation's future.  

Hu Angang, an economist with Beijing-based Tsinghua University, holds that ecological civilization is embodied by economic prosperity and better environment favorable for people to live. In the pursuit of this objective, big cities should play a leading role. 

"The capital Beijing has completed a transition from an industry-focused economy to a new system with a dominant service industry," he said. "This will lead to a drop in energy consumption by a large margin and set an example for other places." 

In terms of water usage, Hu said that the utilization rate of recycled water in the capital is expected to reach 75 percent by 2015, representing a vital investment area of green economy development. 

The environmental problem is quite heavy and resolving it is a tough task, said the environment protection minister. "We must be creative and develop a new environment protection path featuring a focus on prevention of pollution with a comprehensive approach," he said.

Top Story
-Protecting Ocean Rights
-Partners in Defense
-Fighting HIV+'s Stigma
-HIV: Privacy VS. Protection
-Setting the Tone
Related Stories
-18th CPC National Congress
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved