Senior officials said China is determined to step up its efforts to enforce the national strategy of sustainable development with the emphasis on environmental protection.
"It is time for action," said Yang Weimin, a senior official with the National Development and Reform Commission, at a workshop in Beijing yesterday to discuss the Chinese version of the World Development Report 2003 written by a group of World Bank experts.
He said China's highest authorities highlighted their determination to achieve a balanced development of economic, human and environmental priorities at the recent Third Plenum of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
The country has long been in a fever to pursue rapid economic growth. Many take it for granted that an economic boom will automatically propel development in all areas of society.
Although such a belief has motivated spectacular economic growth in recent years, it has also created some thorny problems such as environment degradation and the widening income gap.
Yang said the only solution to the problems is to introduce a balanced development mode.
Yang said his commission is seeking suggestions from the World Bank on sustainable development for guidelines in China's 11th Five-year Development Plan (2006-2010).
(China Daily October 28, 2003)