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Foreign Reports on Logging 'Unrealistic'
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A senior forestry official yesterday described some foreign media reports on China's illegal logging abroad as "unrealistic".


"China abides by the rule of mutual benefit when logging in other countries," said Cao Qingyao, spokesman for the State Forestry Administration (SFA) at a regular press conference. "It always cracks down on illegal logging firmly and has gradually cooperated with some countries."


He called for joint efforts to curb illegal logging, saying that both producing and importing countries should strengthen administration and supervision.


Cao said in 2005, the country's supply of timber, 329 million cubic meters, had met domestic demand, which was 326 million cubic meters.


Also in 2005, China recorded a surplus of $3 billion in forest trade, suggesting China exported more timber than it imported.


He said that in 2005 about 60 percent of China's timber products were exported to the United States, Japan and Hong Kong. The United States accounted for nearly 38 percent.


And China imported most of its forestry products from Russia, the United States and Indonesia.


"Forestry trade is part of international trade," Cao said. "China has made its contribution to push forward international trading by carrying on forestry trading."


The spokesman said China's forestry gross products have kept a two-digit growth annually since 2001 and exceeded 900 billion yuan (US$115 billion) in 2006.


Last year, China produced about 64 million cubic meters of boards and produced more than 90 million tons of fresh and dried fruits. It also produced about 130 million pieces of furniture. In the three fields, the country took the lead in the world.


Last year, China's foreign trading volume in forestry products was US$47 billion, maintaining a favorable balance.


China will hold its third wood exposition in Mudanjiang, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province from August 16 to 22, Cao said.


Mudanjiang, the Sino-Russian trading center, is also the largest timber import center in China.


In 2006, the city imported more than 7 million cubic meters of timber from Russia, accounting for more than 20 percent of the country's total import volume.


It has nearly 2,000 wood product companies. And a wood processing industry strip is under construction.


(China Daily May 17, 2007)

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