Growth-crazed provinces urged to slow down

08:58, January 07, 2011      

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Alarmed by the vaulting ambitions of many Chinese provinces to grow at all costs, China's top economic chief is pleading with officials to calm down and spare a thought for the environment.

Zhang Ping, who heads the National Development and Reform Commission, the central economic planning agency, said only five or six of all provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions are targeting annual economic growth of 8 or 9 percent.

The remaining provinces are aiming for growth rates of more than 10 percent this year, with some even wanting to double economic output in the coming five years.

"China has a planned energy supply of about 4 billion cubic tons of coal equivalent for the next five years, and this is not enough to meet demands," he was quoted as saying on the news portal Sina.com.

China is increasingly exasperated by the ambitions of provinces across the country to chase high-octane growth despite the central government's pleas for a more moderate and sustainable pace of expansion.

Years of break-neck growth have taken a toll on the environment, with the government trying to undo some of the damage now. It has get an annual growth target of 7 percent for the next five years, well down from last year's 10 percent.

Source: Global Times
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