A senior environmental official on Sunday urged local governments not to support polluting projects for sake of environmental protection.
Pan Yue, deputy director of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) said on a program of China's Central Television that China should give priority to environmental protection, instead of merely seeking for economic growth.
He said it's not a workable strategy to develop the chemical plants which would seriously pollute the environment.
He said he could understand some local officials who give green lights to polluting projects.
"I used to think the same way as you do, that is, all the problems can be solved when we have money," Pan said, adding that he once was an advocator for China to be the "world factory".
However, statistics showed that our country cannot afford the way of traditional industrialization, he said.
"Environmental crisis and other problems would emerge earlier than we imagined and would cost us much more to solve them," Pan said.
Pan also said different government departments should work together to protect the environment and control pollution.
(Xinhua News Agency May 14, 2007)