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August 26, 2016

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President says ecosystem vital for sustainable development

PROTECTING the ecosystem is “the most important foundation” of sustainable development, President Xi Jinping said during a tour of the northwestern province of Qinghai.

Describing the region’s ecosystem as its “biggest merit, responsibility and potential,” Xi said measures must be taken to ensure economic, social and environmental development proceed hand-in-hand.

He told local officials of his desire for Qinghai to be a model of eco-friendly development, circular economy and ethnic solidarity.

Maintaining healthy development of the economy is a major task, Xi said.

Qinghai has an important responsibility to protect the Sanjiangyuan region (the source of China’s three major rivers), Xi said.

He ordered coordinated implementation of projects such as energy conservation and emission reduction, ecological protection around the Qinghai Lake, desertification control, and gradually returning arable land to grassland and forest.

During his tour, Xi visited the Qinghai environmental monitoring center, where he watched real-time monitoring of the source of the Yellow River, a Qinghai-Tibet Railway bridge and other locations, while chatting with center staff.

Visiting a solar power company in Xining, Xi saw a solar cell production line and asked about various aspects of the production process.

Speaking highly of Qinghai’s accomplishments in clean energy, he said good planning, policy support and guidance are vital to the orderly development of the photovoltaic power industry.

He asked state-owned enterprises to take the lead in innovation, produce more and better products and play a bigger role in leading innovation-driven development.

Xi also visited China’s biggest salt lake — Chaerhan Salt Lake in Qaidam Basin. The region has been making use of the lake to develop its salination industry since the 1950s.

Xi spoke of the need to balance exploitation and protection of resources and to create industrial processes, techniques and skills featuring low consumption, fewer emissions and high returns.

In Changjiangyuan Village, Xi received a warm welcome from Tibetan villagers who moved there in 2004, away from the sources of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers. Protection of the sources of the three rivers involved the relocation of people who used to live there.

Xi was delighted to see that the villagers’ standard of living was relatively high with stable incomes and basic health and old-age insurance.

At newly built Banyan Village in Huzhu Tu Autonomous County, Xi met families relocated from another area.

In the new house of a Tu ethnic family, Xi watched a video of the old village where they had lived and said that relocation is an effective way to relieve poverty.

But he stressed the importance of listening to what villagers wanted and letting them participate in planning their new villages.

“The building of new villages should be integrated with measures to promote production and employment, improve basic public services and protect ethnic, regional and cultural features and styles,” Xi said.

He urged officials to be firm in their efforts to help people shake off poverty.


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