When Premier Wen Jiabao addressed political leaders attending the Third East Asia Summit yesterday in Singapore, the international community had a chance to better understand China's views and position on climate change.
Wen has time again assured that the world's most populous country is fully aware of its due responsibility in the global effort to combat the scourge and is ready to work with other countries, especially its Asian neighbors, for a greener world.
Just like Wen said in his speech, climate change is an issue of development. There has never been more consensus at the international arena like today that the world is in dire need of concrete countermeasures instead of finger pointing.
Therefore, it is heartening to see more international efforts, the Third East Asia Summit for one, being dedicated to committing countries in the world to face up to the challenge together.
Like many developing countries, China has been bearing the brunt of climate change. The Chinese government has made solemn vows to take the road of sustainable development and build a harmonious society in which man and nature can live together.
While raising social awareness on energy saving and environmental conservation, the Chinese government has also set short-term and long-term goals for cutting energy consumption, reducing the discharge of pollutants, and green house gas emissions.
All these efforts are clear evidence that China is a responsible country even though its per capita emission of carbon dioxide is less than one-third of the average level of the developed countries.
With more than 20 million rural people living in poverty and over 22 million urban poor, the country has an obligation to improve the living standards of its people by driving the wheel of economic development even faster.
However, China, in the meantime, fully understands the risks of developing at the expense of the environment.
Hence, it has been steadfast in its stance to proceed with economic growth, social development and environmental protection in a coordinated and balanced way.
The world can never free itself from the threat of climate change before all countries stand together and translate their commitments into real action.
(China Daily November 22, 2007)