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Hu Jintao advocates "conservation culture" for first time in keynote political document
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China will promote conservation culture while moving to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, said Hu Jintao in a political report to the national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which is believed to be the first time that China calls for conservation culture in a keynote political document.


"(We will) promote a conservation culture by basically forming an energy- and resource-efficient and environment-friendly structure of industries, pattern of growth and mode of consumption," said Hu at the opening ceremony of the 17th CPC National Congress, a five-yearly important political event.


"Awareness of conservation will be firmly established in the whole of society," Hu said.


Hu added that China will have a large-scale circular economy and considerably increase the proportion of renewable energy sources in total energy consumption, bring the discharge of major pollutants under effective control and notably improve ecological and environmental quality.


Hu said China's economic growth is realized at an excessively high cost of resources and the environment, before listing other difficulties and problems that hinder China's development.


"We must give prominence to building a resource-conserving, environment-friendly society in our strategy for industrialization and modernization and get every organization and family to act accordingly," Hu said.


A report released last month by the national environment watchdog said China's overall environmental situation is still "serious" with frequent pollution accidents affecting the quality of life for many people. Last year, 842 pollution accidents were reported, including 482 water pollution cases, 232 air pollution cases, 45 cases caused by solid waste, 10 in the ocean and six involving noise and vibration damage.


The country's discharges of sulfur dioxide in 2006 reached 25.89 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 1.5 percent, the report said.


In September last year, two chemical plants in central China's Hunan Province illegally discharged a highly toxic arsenic compound into a tributary of China's second largest freshwater lake, Dongting Lake, leading to the suspension of water supplies to at least 80,000 local residents for a week.


A severe algae outbreak in Taihu, the third largest freshwater lake of the country, at the end of May this year triggered a waters care after the sudden outbreak of the stenchy algae cut tap water supply to more than one million residents in Wuxi, a city in eastern Jiangsu Province.


Hu's remarks aroused instant attention of delegates to the CPC congress and observers of China.


"I think the conservation culture is part of the concept of harmonious society. The development of society must be based on conservation culture," said Wang Zhigang, a delegate to the CPC congress.


European countries are more and more aware of the role of China in addressing environmental issues. Pollution and climate change are global issues that cannot be solved without China, said Federico Rampini, chief correspondent of the Beijing office of the Italian newspaper The Republic.


"It is a very good development that the environment topic is included in the report. It shows the Chinese Communist Party has put environmental issues to a very important position on its agenda," said Rampini who has worked in China for four years.


Lars Moerking, a reporter of German newspaper Our Time, said "I am quite interested in the environment topic that mentioned in the political report."


Source: Xinhua
 
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