China will become an example of sustainable development, and to help this process the EU is willing to provide it with technology and experience, EU Environmental Commissioner Margot Wallstrom told Xinhua News Agency in a recent interview in Beijing.
Wallstrom said her visit to China was aimed at establishing an EU-China environmental dialogue mechanism according to the principles set out at the sixth European leaders' conference earlier this year. The two sides have already decided on the specific leading candidates and the dialogue would continue in 2004, she added.
"Some developed countries always think of China as a 'problem' and neglect to consider the contributions it has made," Wallstrom said. "For example, China has made great efforts in controlling greenhouse gas emissions. What we need to do is to provide it with funds, technology and experience."
It is reported that between 2002-06, the total investment of the EU's aid projects to China will reach 250 million Euros, including 100 million Euros for environmental projects.
Wallstrom visited Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, where she inspected the "EU-Liaoning Comprehensive Environmental Project," the largest Sino-EU cooperative project aimed at improving the development of local environmental comprehensive management capabilities, promoting clean production, raising energy use efficiency and strengthening waste recycling.
The EU is experienced in the rehabilitation of highly polluted heavy industrial cities, said Wallstrom. "The successful transformation of Ruhrgebiet in Germany is a typical example. We'd like to share the experience with China."
Currently, the main cooperative fields between China and the EU involve global climate change and biodiversity. Future cooperation will focus on water and air quality, pollution discharges and clean production, according to Wallstrom.
"I'm glad to see that sustainable development has become more and more important in China's political agenda. China always takes immediate action as soon as it has made up its minds to do something," she said. "We hope China will continue its efforts. Your success is very important to us all."
(China.org.cn by Li Jingrong and Daragh Moller, November 19, 2003)