Deng Nan, vice-minister of science and technology, said that
the Central Government intends to have large-scale developments
in less developed western areas in the next few years.
Next year, for example, the State will focus on infrastructure
construction, such as transportation and ecosystem development,
Deng said at the annual meeting of the Chinese Association for
Sustainable Development Research in Beijing.
She stressed the importance of protecting the water and soil
in western areas because they are the sources of major rivers
and lakes, including the Yangtze and Yellow rivers.
"Western areas should learn from what happened when eastern
regions were developed, and not follow that path," Deng
said. "Economic growth must be in harmony with the development
of population, environment and natural resources."
When eastern China developed, environmental protection was ignored,
Deng called on industrial sectors to place a high priority on
China will also be making sustainable development part of an
Urbanization offers job opportunities for unemployed rural workers
as well as the potential for increasing the income of farmers,
The down side, Deng said, is that urbanization can also lead
to water shortages, traffic congestion and environmental pollution.
Environmental protection and ecosystem conservation must be
included in the 10th Five-Year Plan to ensure China's long-term
economic growth and social development, Deng said.
Hu Angang, an economist helping to draft the 10th Five-Year
Plan, said China must switch from high energy-consuming production
to clean energy and energy-saving production in the next century.
"Government should enhance its role for the sustainable
development during industrial restructuring," Hu said.
(China Daily 12/09/1999)