A top United Nations official has listed HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, environmental pollution, and gender equality as major challenges China faces despite remarkable economic and social progress China has made since 1978.
Addressing China Development Forum held in Beijing on Monday, UN under-secretary-general Zephirin Diabre said the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in China is estimated to be 1 million, but could reach 10 million by 2010.
Citing a report on China's progress on Millennium Development Goals, the UN official said China's sustainability is threatened with over 90 percent of China's grasslands degraded and over 75 percent of the water in rivers in urban areas unfit for human contact.
He said China's progress since 1978 marking the beginning of important reforms and opening up has been "truly remarkable".
China registered an average annual economic growth rate of 9.4 percent during the past decades since 1978.
The official said the progress of China has translated into unprecedented scales of poverty reduction and social advancement.
He said China will shoulder greater global and regional responsibilities as it further strengthen its position in the world economy.
(CRI.com March 21, 2005)