Xi Jinping talks up environmental protection in China

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    China is beset by a multitude of environmental problems, as noted elsewhere in this forum. Interesting, then, to find article with what seem promising remarks by China's president, Xi Jinping. Includes:

    Ecological protection has been a major focus for the ongoing "two sessions" — China's most important annual political event.

    President Xi Jinping asked Chinese people to protect the environment as if they were "caring for one's own eyes and life", while reviewing the work report of the State Council together with national lawmakers from eastern Jiangxi Province.

    "We are going to punish, with an iron hand, any violators who destroy ecology or environment, with no exceptions," said Xi.

    Xi used the oriental culture's concept of harmony and balance to explain nature preservation.

    "Mankind's pursuit of development and the limited resource supplied by Earth has been an eternal contradiction," he said during his visit to southwest China's Yunnan Province at the beginning of 2015.

    "The Chinese civilization has lasted more than 5,000 years. Can it last another 5,000 years and ultimately achieve sustainable development?" Xi asked.

    "The ecological problem has been accumulated in history and the environment has not been damaged suddenly in a day," he said, adding it was the Communist Party of China's (CPC) responsibility to stop the environment from turning worse.

    Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, has stressed the concept of ecological civilization and conservation culture at political events in China and abroad more than 60 times since November 2012.

    He once said that if mountains and forests are damaged, soil will be flooded by water and farmland will become barren.


    Xi called for comprehensive measures to save the environment.

    "Forests have a leading position in safeguarding homeland security and coordinating comprehensive management on environmental protection. Forests are the top level of ecosystem. To save Earth, we have to save forests first," he said.

    However, forest areas have dwindled by about 50 percent globally, according to UN figures.

    "(I) can't imagine what Earth and mankind will be like without forests," Xi said while planting trees with members of the public in Beijing in April 2013. He vowed severe punishment on environment destroyers.

    China, over a long period in the past, stayed in a lower position on the global value chain and the environment has been damaged by highly polluting, energy-intensive industries.

    "There are too many debts to pay," Xi said while visiting south China's Guangdong Province. He warned that if action is not taken immediately, more debts will lie ahead.

    He told college students in Kazakhstan in September 2013 that economic development must not come at the price of the ecology.


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