Environmental Pollution Major Problem in China's Development

Environmental pollution has become a major problem in China's current development and it has not been addressed well, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Tuesday.

China finished most of the targets for the 10th Five-Year Plan period (2000-2005), but the targets for environment were not done well, Wen said at a press conference shortly after the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC).

China should not follow the old path of pollution first and then treatment, the premier said. "We should leave green mountains and clear water to our offspring."

"First, we should not only focus our eyes on economic growth, instead we should pay attention to energy conservation and environmental protection," Wen said, noting that in the 11th Five- Year Guidelines period (2006-2010), energy consumption in terms of per capita GDP growth should go down 20 percent, and pollutant emission should decrease 10 percent.

Secondly, China will implement a strict industrial policy. Those enterprises and infrastructure projects which cause environmental pollution and resources waste should be prohibited, the premier said.

Thirdly, China will carry out special programs to treat environmental pollution, especially the step-by-step treatment of water, air and land pollution.

In addition, the government will toughen law-enforcement and protect the environment in line with the law. Enterprises which consume huge energy and cause high pollution will be shut down, and the enterprises and individuals which bring heavy pollution and losses to the society will be punished, Wen said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2006)

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