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China Development Forum Kicks off
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China will push comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable economic and social development, paying attention to energy conservation and environmental protection, Chinese Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan said on Sunday.

Zeng made the remarks on Sunday at the opening ceremony of the China Development Forum.

He said China will accelerate development of the service industry and promote expansion of domestic demand.

Great efforts will be made to develop renewable energy and alternative energy.

The country's failure to meet its annual energy saving and pollution control targets last year was mainly attributed to slow progress in industrial restructuring and fast growth in sectors that consumed more energy and discharged more pollutants, according to previous reports.

To meet its energy saving and emission reduction targets in the2006 to 2010 period, China plans to close small thermal power generating units with a total capacity of 50 million kilowatts, 100 million tons of outmoded iron production capacity and 55 million tons of outmoded steel production capacity by 2010, said Zeng.

According to the government's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), energy consumption for every 10,000-yuan (1,298 U.S. dollars) of gross domestic product should be reduced by 20 percent by the end of that period.

Meanwhile, the discharge of sulfur dioxide and chemical oxygen demand (COD) should drop by 10 percent.

China will establish a price mechanism to reflect energy scarcities and the costs of pollution and improve its financial, taxation and legal system to encourage energy saving and environmental protection, said Zeng.

Zeng also said that China will strive for realizing basic equilibrium of balance of international payments, promote coordinated development of the eastern, central and western regions, push forward scientific and technological renovation and accelerate building of a harmonious society.

(Xinhua News Agency March 19, 2007)

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