Across China: Inland city in east China narrates success story of green development

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 26, 2024
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HEFEI, March 26 (Xinhua) -- In the bustling Shushan District of Hefei City, situated in east China's Anhui Province, a park named "green axis" provides a lush oasis for nearby city dwellers.

Strolling in the park among chirping birds and blossoming flowers, Chen Fuwen, a 63-year-old resident, recalled when this tranquil place was a wasteland several years ago.

"At that time, we would take a detour," said Chen, "Now the park is our first choice for a stroll."

The green expansion is a direct result of Hefei's multiple greening projects, benefiting not just humans but also many other species.

Located in downtown Hefei, the swan lake park is home to wild ducks, magpies, finches, and many other creatures. "More and more birds are settling down here in Hefei," said Zhu Ming, a shutterbug.

The same story is unfolding in other inland cities. Shangrao, situated in east China's Jiangxi Province, transformed a deserted mine into a national 4A scenic spot. In central China's Hunan Province, Changsha has continued to build "15-minute green life circles," giving residents convenient opportunities to enjoy the beauty of nature.

In 2023, China built and upgraded 34,000 hectares of urban green space.

The country has contributed to one-fourth of the global afforestation increase that has taken place over the past two decades.

While striving for harmony between humanity and nature, Hefei also advocates a greener way of life. It is easy to find shared bikes and shared electric bikes in the streets. Many online car-hailing companies are turning to new energy vehicles (NEVs).

"Thanks to the preferential purchase tax policy for NEVs, customer flow and orders have increased significantly this year. More and more middle-aged people now choose to buy NEVs," said Li Jia, a salesperson at a store of Chinese auto company Zeekr.

Low-carbon transportation is only part of the locals' pursuit of a green life. At Hefei's MixC shopping mall, a national-level "green shopping mall," a management platform for energy efficiency is working to monitor each floor's temperatures and the levels of carbon dioxide. The mall has employed energy-saving measures such as installing sensor lamps and putting up heat-insulating window films, which have saved up to about 5.32 million kWh of electricity.

Science and technology have played a role in green development. Hefei high-tech zone, one of China's first batch of carbon-peaking pilot zones, features a "waste-free factory."

Hefei Midea Laundry Appliance Co., Ltd., for example, is reducing pollution and carbon emissions in all aspects of design, production, and transportation. As a waste-free factory, the company has invested more than 70 million yuan (about 9.71 million U.S. dollars) annually in its smart and green transition over five years. During this process, it has upgraded traditional products to energy-saving options that are more efficient.

The pursuit of green transition is creating multiple concrete benefits. In 2023, Hefei contributed to 27 percent of the province's GDP while accounting for only 17.5 percent of the province's total energy consumption, according to Kan Wei, deputy director of the municipal development and reform commission.

Rich in minerals, land resources, and renewable energy such as wind, solar, and hydropower, inland cities have great potential to march on the path of green development.

Min Qingwen, a researcher at the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, believes that "green" could be the key to high-quality development for inland cities like Hefei. Enditem

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