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China's Jack Ma talks environment with Obama

By Yuan Can (People's Daily Online)    14:33, November 19, 2015

US President Barack Obama (L) and Alibaba's Chairman and fuonder Jack Ma participate in a panel discussion at the APEC CEO Summit in Manila, Philippines, November 18, 2015(Photo/Youth.cn)

When Chinese internet billionaire and Chairman and fuonder of Alibaba group, Jack Ma was 12, he almost drowned in a lake in his hometown because it was far deeper than he expected. However, when Ma returned to his hometown 5 years ago, he found that the lake had totally dried up. From then on, Ma set his mind to paying attention to environmental protection.

"It is too late if people still worry about the environment but don’t take practical actions," said Ma during a talk with U.S. President Barack Obama when they were both in the Philippines for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila on Wednesday.

Ma told Obama that Alibaba has been diverting 0.3 percent of revenues for the past six years towards programs for young people to focus on the environment.

"Compared to 15 years ago, we are big," Ma said about Alibaba. "But compared to 15 years later, we are small. But if we do not care about this Earth, if we do not care about water, food, the environment, I think nobody can survive whether you’re big or small. So this is the concern. This is the worry I have."

Ma also said he would accept an offer from Bill Gates to invest in clean energy technology and continue Alibaba’s program. “I just came back from Beijing three weeks ago,” Ma said. “My throat was in pain. It’s too late to complain about who’s to blame. Whether your fault or mine, let’s solve the problem together. It’s the combination — we’re combining the work of government, private sectors, scientists, sociologists and philanthropists. We have to work together.”

Leaders of the two countries agreed in September to a common vision for a global climate change agreement, including steps to deliver on earlier pledges to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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