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EU Commissioner: China to Be a Model of Sustainable Development

"China will be a demonstration of sustainable development, if you do the right thing," said visiting European Union (EU) Commissioner for the Environment Margot Wallstrom on Wednesday.  

Setting up an environmental dialogue between the EU and China is the priority of Wallstrom's China visit, as confirmed during the recent EU-China Summit held in Beijing on Oct. 30.


"We have identified the people in charge of setting the whole process up. The first dialogue will be held next year," said Wallstrom.


Talking about the global climate change, Wallstrom said the rich countries always saw China as a problem, without seeing what China had done.


"China has made a lot of efforts in cutting greenhouse gases emission, we should provide enough financing, technology and experience to support these efforts," said Wallstrom.


From 2002 to 2006, the EU commission's total investment in environmental protection cooperation with China amounted to 100 million Euros, 40 percent of its 250 million overall investment.


Wallstrom visited the Liaoning Integrated Environmental Project (LIEP) Tuesday in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province and a heavy industrial city.


LIEP is EU's largest cooperation project in China, which cost 37 million Euros with funds provided by the EU.


The program aims to develop Shenyang's environmental planning, management and enforcement capacities as well as promoting cleaner production and energy efficiency.


"We do have experience in cleaning up heavy industrialized and polluted areas in Europe, and that's why this part of China was chosen," said Wallstrom.


According to Wallstrom, the environmental dialogue will focus on global environmental issues, such as climate change, biodiversity and ozone layer protection.


For the next step, the EU and China will work together on a variety of concerns, including water quality, air quality and cleaner production.


"I'm glad to see that the environment issues are moving up in China's political agenda. Once China decides what it wants, it will have quick action," said Wallstrom.


"I hope China continue its efforts," she added, "China's success is crucial to the rest of the world."


(Xinhua News Agency November 13, 2003)

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