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Home >> China
UPDATED: 17:41, September 06, 2005
China faces six challenges in the 21st century, expert
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China will inevitably run into six major challenges during its development in the 21st century, said Niu Wenyuan, chief scientist and team leader of the research of sustainable development strategy at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, at the 21st Century Forum' 2005 in Beijing.

First is the coming of three population peaks in the future three to four decades. China already has a total population of 1.3 billion, and each year of the coming two decades will see an average of 10 million newborns.

Second is the excessive consumption of energies and natural resources at this developing stage. It is learned that China contributed 4.3 percent to world economy in 2004, but used the world's 30 percent coal, 27 percent iron and steel, 25 percent aluminium and 40 percent cement. This extensive way of resources unitization will hardly be curbed in the coming two or three decades.

Third is the overall and continuous deterioration of ecological environment in this country.

Forth is the enormous pressure of urbanization. "Currently we have 12 to 13 million people moving from rural to urban areas each year, and the trend will continue into the coming 30 to 40 years," said Niu.

The last two challenges are narrowing regional gaps and solving fundamental problems concerning farmers, agriculture and rural areas, as well as the cultivation of the capacity of sustainable development and national strength.

The six challenges would severely hinder China's future advancement, Niu stressed, and sound development can only be achieved under the guidance of the scientific concept of comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development.

China's development goals in 50 years

"It will take China 50 years to reach the level of sustainable development in moderately developed courtiers and enter the top ten rankings in overall capability of sustainable development" said Niu Wenyuan, chief scientist of the research group for sustainable development of the Chinese Academy of Sciences at the 21st Century Forum' 2005 on September 5.

The goals are as follows:

By 2050, the contribution of scientific development to the overall national economy reaches 70 to 75 percent.

By 2050, the average life expectancy of Chinese people can reach 85 years.

By 2050, Engel Coefficient averagely should be below 0.15, Gini Coefficient averagely between 0.30 and 0.35, Human Development Index above 0.9 and dual structure coefficient within 1.5.

In 2050, per capita years of receiving education will be extended from the present 7.8 years to above 14 years.

China will strive to realize a zero growth of its natural growth rate of population and at the same time improve the population quality and mix.

China will strive to realize a zero growth of the speed of energy and resources consumption and at the same time vigorously improve its capability of wealth accumulation.

China will strive to realize a zero growth of the speed of degradation of eco-system and environment and meanwhile make efforts to improve their quality, and improve the overall living environment to enter a sound cycle of sustainable development in an all-round way.

Niu said, based on the conclusion drawn from the consensus across the world, to implement the strategy of sustainable development, all the countries must strive for "three zero growths": first, zero growth of natural growth rate of population, which is a basic balance between birth rate and death rate and is yet to be attained in China; second, zero growth of the speed of consumption of energy and resources, which cannot be realized without a balanced population, but through building a conservation-minded society and take a path of a new type of industrialization, which will pave the way for the third step, zero growth of the speed of the degradation of eco-system and environment.

By People's Daily Online

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