China's forests are expected to cover nearly one quarter of its land mass by 2020 and the country does not foresee any major problems in meeting its paper and timber needs, said State Forestry Administration spokesperson Cao Qingyao.
Cao claimed that China's forestry coverage rate has risen from 8.6 percent to 18.2 percent in the past 58 years, noting that the country has planted 53.3 million hectares of forest, more than any other country in the world.
Young- and mid-aged forests account for 68 percent of China's total forests, and the country will have sufficient timber supply in the future, he said.
In recent years, China's timber exports have exceeded imports and the country expects to produce at least 200 million cubic meters of timber per year from 2015, Cao said.
SFA figures reveal that China's forests absorbed 4.68 billion tons of carbon dioxide from 1980 to 2005.
China's forestry development and protection have mitigated the effects of global climate change, Cao said.
(Xinhua News Agency June 8, 2007)