Since China made the development of the
Yangtze River Economic Belt a national strategy, the country has shown
firm determination in enhancing the ecological protection of its "mother
river" and facilitating green, sustainable and high-quality
The sprawling economic
belt covers 11 provinces and municipalities from west to east, with
Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and Chongqing in the upper reaches, Hubei,
Hunan and Jiangxi at the center, and Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and
Shanghai in the lower reaches.
TOP LEADERSHIP BLUEPRINT
years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over a meeting on the
Yangtze River Economic Belt in the Chongqing Municipality, which
unveiled a new chapter for the ecological conservation and green
development of the region.
status and role of the river and economic belt mean development must
prioritize ecology and green development to respect natural, economic
and social rules, said Xi.
later at a symposium held in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei
Province, Xi stressed the importance of achieving high-quality economic
growth through the development of the economic belt.
developing the economic belt, the key lies in properly dealing with the
relationships between pressing ahead on the whole and making
breakthroughs in key areas, between ecological environment protection
and economic development, between making an overall plan and making
unremitting efforts, between getting rid of old growth engines and
cultivating new engines, and between developing individually and
developing in a coordinated way," he said.
a symposium he chaired last November in Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu
Province, Xi said that provinces and municipalities along the Yangtze
River should find their respective positions in the new "dual
circulation" development pattern and take the initiative to open up
their markets to the world.
UNREMITTING CONSERVATION EFFORTS
the past five years, transitional changes have taken place in the
ecological and environmental protection of the Yangtze River Economic
A total of 8,091 chemical
enterprises have been relocated, transformed or suspended along the
economic belt in the past five years.
the first 10 months of last year, over 86.1 percent of the region's
water met a level-three standard or above, rising 12.8 percentage points
from 2016, official data shows. China classifies water quality into six
levels, from level one, which is suitable for drinking after minimal
treatment, to level six, which is severely polluted.
country's top legislature adopted a law at the end of last year on
Yangtze River conservation, which will take effect on March 1, 2021.
China's first legislation for a specific river basin, the law was
formulated to strengthen the protection and restoration of the
ecological environment of the Yangtze River basin, facilitate the
effective and rational use of resources, safeguard ecological security,
ensure harmony between humans and nature, and achieve sustainable
A 10-year fishing ban,
effective from Jan. 1, covers all key waters of the Yangtze River. The
move will help the country's longest waterway recover from dwindling
aquatic resources and degrading biodiversity. A fishing ban in 332
conservation areas along the river has been in place since the beginning
Practices undertaken by China have shown that development and environmental protection are not contradictory but complementary.
The Yangtze River Economic Belt generated 46.6 percent of the country's GDP in the first three quarters of 2020.
terms of innovation, the country has promoted the development of
national strategic emerging industrial clusters and advanced
manufacturing clusters, as well as the transformation and upgrading of
heavy chemical industries along the Yangtze River, according to the
National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
support will be offered for Wuhan, the island of Chongming in Shanghai,
and Guangyang Isle in Chongqing to demonstrate green development, said
Three "poles of economic
growth" have been formed along the river: the delta, city clusters along
the central course, and the Chengdu-Chongqing economic zone, located in
the upper reaches.
River is China's most vital domestic waterway, but it also has global
importance. It is one of the busiest inland rivers for freight traffic
worldwide, with the total goods trade of 11 provincial-level regions
along the river hitting 12.7 trillion yuan (about 1.96 trillion U.S.
dollars) in the first 11 months of last year, official data shows.
Authorities have vowed to continue improving the river's traffic
capacity, promote innovation and industrial upgrading, boost
urbanization, advance opening up, and establish a modern market economy.