Strides made in advancing Beautiful China Initiative: official

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Aerial photo taken on July 8, 2022 shows Jiulong Wetland Park in Heyang County, northwest China's Shaanxi province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Major progress has been made in promoting the Beautiful China Initiative over the past decade thanks to combined efforts to improve the country's ecology and environment, a senior official said Friday.

China has achieved miracles in ecological protection and green development since 2012, Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment Zhai Qing told a press conference on the sidelines of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Zhai said campaigns to fight air, water and soil pollution have brought tangible results. In 2021, the average concentration of hazardous airborne particles PM2.5 in Chinese cities at or above the prefecture-level decreased by 34.8 percent from 2015.

In ecological restoration and protection, the total area of nature reserves at all levels accounts for about 18 percent of China's land area, and five national parks have been established, according to him.

The wild populations of more than 300 types of rare and endangered wild animals and plants have been restored and increased, Zhai added.

Solid progress has also been made in the country's green, circular and low-carbon development, Zhai said.

In 2021, China's carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP dropped by 34.4 percent from 2012, and the share of coal in primary energy consumption fell from 68.5 percent to 56 percent during the period.

Looking ahead, China will further improve the quality of ecology and environment, promote the comprehensive green shift in economic and social development, and advance establishing and improving a modern environmental governance system, Zhai said.

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