Forest ranger encouraged by interaction with Xi

(Xinhua) 08:58, February 28, 2022

BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Despite being almost a year ago, a conversation with President Xi Jinping still reverberates in the mind of Zhou Yizhe, a national lawmaker from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, north China.

"Your identity shift from a logger to a forest ranger epitomizes our country's transformation in industrial structures," Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, told Zhou during deliberations with fellow lawmakers from Inner Mongolia during the annual national legislative session in early March last year.

Ecological conservation, as Zhou recalled, was the main topic of discussion with the president.

Xi sets great store by ecological conservation. "Lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets," he has said, stressing protecting ecological environment and pushing sustainable development.

Boasting over 100,000 square km of state-owned forestry zones, Inner Mongolia is deemed a shield for the country's ecological security. It used to be a major timber-production base. Now, it is highlighted by Xi as China's "green Great Wall."

During the annual national legislative session last year, Zhou raised proposals for beefing up firebreaks and improving telecommunication networks in forests.

"In case of a fire, one more forest would be reserved if we build one more kilometer of firebreak," Zhou said.

Following the discussion, Zhou and other national lawmakers were reached by officials from relevant ministries to detail their suggestions. Later, on-site visits were also conducted to ensure ideas were not just restricted to paper.

Zhou has noted two major changes in the Greater Hinggan Mountains, where he works, over the past year.

"More firebreaks and roads to and within the forest area have been built, making travel and forest management easier. Mobile network coverage has been significantly expanded, allowing us to contact families more easily and has markedly boosted ecotourism," Zhou said.

Official data shows that about half of the Greater Hinggan Mountains forest area is now covered by telecom networks, up from just 10 percent. A total of 10 4G base stations had been built by the end of 2021.

"We've seen deserts turn into oases and our lives are getting better thanks to policies to fight desertification and conserve forests," said Zhou. 

(Web editor: Peng yukai, Liang Jun)


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