Aerial photo taken on Aug. 3, 2017 shows the scenery of cedar forest in Shawo Township of Xinyang city, central China's Henan Province. Local government has enhanced the afforestation efforts in recent years to improve the ecological environment. (Xinhua/Feng Dapeng)
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, China, under the guidance and leadership of Xi Jinping, has made remarkable social and economic achievements for which 1.3 billion Chinese people should be proud of. In the past five years, one of the most remarkable achievements China has truly made is ecological preservation which deserves much praise.
It can be said that China's experiences on green development should be shared among countries since how to balance economic growth and environmental protection is a dilemma faced by most of the world.
President Xi has been attaching great importance to green development and ecological progress. He said that China should protect the environment "like one protects one's eyes" and treat the environment "as one treats one's life."
In the last five years, active efforts have been made to push green development and green lifestyles, speeding up the transformation of growth models and intensifying anti-pollution measures. China has concertedly promoted national prosperity and people's well-being, striving to build a country where human and nature can both pursue development harmoniously.
All along, China is on the road of building an ecological civilization with green development concepts. The goal of pursuing ecological progress has been put into practice ever since it was included in the Constitution of the Communist Party of China five years ago.
China's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) set out the goal of "building a resource-conserving and environment-friendly society." The 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) stressed on "green development." It's heartening to see that the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) has also set the goal of improving the overall environment to support its goal of building a "beautiful China," prioritizing "green hills and clear waters."
Truly, green development in China has taken the dimension of a "green revolution" or an "ecological revolution" over the past five years. China has firmly rejected development models that damage or destroy the environment and bid farewell to practices that boost short-term economic growth at the cost of the environment.
China's environmental conservation efforts are making a positive impact. China has become very ambitious and innovative in its new conservation science and policies and has implemented them on a breathtaking scale. The Yangtze River Economic Belt is one of the best examples of economic development and ecological preservation.
China has been boosting green manufacturing in the Yangtze River Economic Belt. According to guidelines released by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), no large development projects will be allowed along the longest river in China in the foreseeable future. The guidelines read that, energy consumption, pollutant emissions and water consumption will be lowered by 2020.
This year on July 22, a green manufacturing alliance was inaugurated to better support China's green and sustainable development. According to MIIT, the alliance will serve as a platform for China's green manufacturing businesses to cooperate with financial institutions and multinational enterprises. Surely, this initiative will help China to eliminate backward production capacity with high energy consumption and high pollution and stick to the path of sustainable development.
During the past five years, China's green energy sector has seen explosive growth. It has become a large natural gas consumer, with 300 million people using this relatively cleaner energy. It is known from a report published in Beijing Review, in 2012, clean energy, which includes hydro, wind, solar and nuclear power accounted for 14.5 percent of the total energy consumed in China. This rose to nearly 20 percent in 2016.
China has become the world's largest green energy supplier, also taking the lead in photovoltaic development and making great contributions to the global energy transformation. According to Yang Lei, senior advisor with the International Energy Agency, from 2010 to 2016, the global share of green energy increased to 32 percent from 12 percent, with China's share of renewable resources climbing from 1 percent to almost 5 percent.
China has been playing an important part in boosting the globalization of green development. Since Trump's withdrawal of the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate agreement, China has also made a public stance of support for the Paris accord. China has achieved remarkable results and garnered valuable experience in reducing carbon emissions and coping with climate change.
It's a fact that China is much ahead of India in the realm of sustainable, green development such as clean air, safe water, sewage management, and green areas in cities. India also lags behind China to promote ecotourism. Over the years China has turned its natural assets into tangible economic benefits to its citizens, following a strict poverty alleviation program.
India's green development projects including Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Clean India Campaign" will get a tremendous boost if it can learn lessons from China's experiences and achievements in innovation-driven transformation and development through the Saihanba forest farm project of northern China's Hebei Province, the Hobq Desert Green Innovation in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Yangzhong City Development Project in eastern China's Jiangsu Province, the Guangxi Rural Poverty Alleviation Pilot Project, the Qinba Mountains Poverty Reduction Project, Green Development Economy of Fujian Province, to mention a few.