Chinese vice premier stresses importance of environmental protection

08:16, December 22, 2010      

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Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (C), shakes hands with an expert attending a meeting on the application of research results on China's environment in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 20, 2010. The research project was launched three years ago to map out a macro environmental strategy for the country. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang has called for strengthening efforts in ecological and environmental protection as the country strives for economic restructuring and improving people's livelihoods.

Li made the remarks Monday at a meeting on the application of research results on China's environment. The research project was launched three years ago to map out a macro environmental strategy for the country.

Li visited an exhibition to show the research results of hundreds of experts and scholars in the environment sector, saying that the findings should be used as a source of reference in the country's next five-year pprogram (2011-2015) to promote environmental protection.

Li then exchanged views with experts during a meeting, saying that China had made achievements in the environmental protection efforts in its 11th five-year program period (2006-2010), having fulfilled major pollution control targets.

According to Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian, during another meeting on Tuesday, the sulfur dioxide index is expected to drop 14 percent in 2010 compared with the 2005 level.

Also, the index of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), a measure of water pollution, is expected to decrease 12 percent.

China's 11th five-year program set out to reduce COD and sulfur dioxide levels by 10 percent over this period.

However, Li stressed that China faced more pressure in environmental protection than any country in the world, since it was a developing nation striving for modernization and with a huge population of 1.3 billion.

China should innovate its development mode and endeavor to make the two, development and environmental protection, promote each other, he noted.

Li said the country should set up a people-oriented conception in environmental protection efforts, and carry out major projects regarding sewage disposal, waste processing and water environment in urban areas.

Efforts would also be devoted to prevent and treat rural area's pollution problems and ensure the safety of drinking water and food, Li said.

Li called for improving related laws and regulations and fully completing the government's responsibility in the environmental protection sector.

Source:Xinhua
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