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Environment Key to EU Funding in China, Ambassador Says
The European Union's (EU) Ambassador to China, Dr Klaus Ebermann, said the EU and China should enhance co-operation in environmental protection.

He said co-operation on environmental issues already constitutes a key element in the EU's policy towards China.

"The current EU Country Strategy for China makes environmental protection and sustainable development one of the three main objectives and it also gives the environment a prominent place when distributing the 250 million euros (US$232 million) worth of EU projects scheduled to take place in China in the next five years. Ebermann made his remarks during a visit to this capital city in Northeast China's Liaoning Province.

Liaoning Province is currently carrying out an integrated environmental programme with the EU, the largest of the 30 EU-China co-operation projects.

Launched in 1999, the project is scheduled for five years with a total of a 48.5 million euro (US$45 million) investment.

Du Qiugen, director of the Liaoning Environmental Protection Bureau and Chinese co-director of the project, said the project aims to assist the province tackle the interrelated problems of pollution abatement and economic modernization.

The project will put emphasis on pollution prevention, energy conservation and the use of cleaner energy sources as well as facilitating industrial restructuring and encouraging investment, he said.

Zhao Xinliang, vice-governor of Liaoning, said the co-operation with the EU has introduced advanced concepts, spurred the province's industrial adjustment and strengthened the government's management of the environment.

Dr Ebermann said he hopes that the integrated environmental programme in Liaoning can become an example of a masterpiece of fruitful China-EU co-operation.

( China Daily June 3, 2002)

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