Chinese President Jiang Zemin called for increased nationwide effort to promote the harmonious development of population, resources and environment at a meeting Sunday in Beijing.
Jiang said at the meeting which was attended by many leading officials including top legislator Li Peng and Premier Zhu Rongji that social and economic development should be kept in step with the development of population, natural resources and environmental protection so as to realize an all-round sustainable development.
He urged all the relevant government departments to take into account more international factors following China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), which he said will bring more challenges as well as more opportunities to the country's sustainable development.
Jiang emphasized that China's overly large population is an unfavorable factor affecting China's social and economic sustainable development.
He called for the governments at all levels to do more to maintain a stable and low birth rate and at the same time improve standards of infant and maternal care.
China should also establish a new system of land and resources development based on both the government administration and market regulation, so as to further intensify the study, programming and management of land and resources, he said.
It is necessary for China to take more measures to improve the forecast and prevention of serious natural disasters in certain regions such as the Three Gorges area, Jiang said.
He also stressed the significance of programming and legislation, saying the government will strengthen the supervision of land and resources development and protection.
Jiang also listed a series of measures to alleviate pollution, which include reducing the discharge of pollutants, further restructuring of the national industrial structure, and building more sewage treatment plants.
The environment in China's western areas, especially in the upper reaches of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, should be well protected, Jiang indicated.
He said the exploitation of wetlands, also a kind of precious natural resource, should be strictly limited, and more wetland reserves should be established.
Water resources should also be better protected and utilized, Jiang said, adding the government will further harness the large rivers to improve the flood control and drought relief capacity.
Premier Zhu Rongji also delivered a speech at the seminar, listing a number of specific key tasks for ensuring the sound development of population, resources and environment.
(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2002)