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Vice-Premier Hails Sustainable Development
Vice-Premier Wen Jiabao said on Saturday that China will give priority to sustainable development projects and make unremitting efforts to improve the ecological environment and better utilize resources to create harmony between man and nature.

Wen made the remarks in a letter to the first meeting of the third China Council for International Co-operation on the Environment and Development (CCICED), which opened in Beijing on Saturday morning.

This guideline was stressed at the just-concluded 16th Party congress, which indicates China's firm determination to implement a strategy for sustainable development in the new era, Wen said.

He said the Chinese Government had high praise for the results achieved at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September.

In accordance with the Johannesburg Declaration of the WSSD and the Implementation Plan of Sustainable Development adopted at the WSSD, China will work for simultaneous and harmonious development of economic growth, social progress and environmental protection, he said.

More than 40 Chinese and foreign personnel will listen to the work report of the CCICED Secretariat and offer suggestions to the Chinese Government at the three-day meeting.

The CCICED is a senior consulting institution. Its primary tasks consist of making proposals with regard to major issues on the environment and development in China and carrying out demonstration projects.

The vice-premier said that during the country's 10th Five-Year Plan period ending in 2005, the government will invest 700 billion yuan (US$88 billion) for environmental protection, with an aim to cut total pollution by another 10 percent.

Wen said the Chinese Government values international co-operation in environmental protection and development. The council has contributed a lot to China's sustainable development since its establishment 10 years ago, he said.

The vice-premier expressed his hope that all members and experts of the council will give further support and attention to China's environment and development.

Over the past five years, China has persisted in its sustainable development strategy and has achieved major progress in environmental protection and ecological reconstruction.

(Xinhua News Agency November 25, 2002)

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