China will boost its capacity for environmental protection and sustainable development in the process of building a relatively comfortable society, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji said Monday in Beijing.
He said China would choose a recycling economy as the model for future development, based on the most efficient use of resources and the most effective protection of the environment.
Zhu made the remarks while meeting with major Chinese and foreign members of the China Council for International Cooperation on the Environment and Development (CCICED), a senior advisory body that raises proposals on key environmental and development issues with the Chinese government.
As the world's biggest developing country, China insisted on environmental protection and sustainable development as a long-term national policy, aiming to achieve a balance between economic growth, social progress and environmental protection, he said.
He assured the CCICED members that China would regard environmental protection as a permanent undertaking and would firmly implement the strategy for sustainable development.
Zhu also briefed the members on China's efforts to turn a large amount of farmland into forests, grassland or wetlands for ecological gains, to control air pollution and land desertification, and to cut greenhouse gas emissions by reducing coal consumption.
Leonard Good, president of the Canadian International Development Agency and CCICED vice chairman, said China's achievements in environmental protection in recent years had been widely recognized in the world.
China had been able to reduce pollution while maintaining strong economic growth, and make progress in afforestation and halting land deterioration, he said.
Other CCICED foreign members also discussed with Premier Zhu China's policies in the field of environmental protection and future sustainable development tasks.
The CCICED, launched in 1992, held its annual meeting last weekend. Its members include such high-profile Chinese and foreign officials and experts as Director of China's State Environmental Protection Administration Xie Zhenhua, and Klaus Topfer, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations and executive director of the UN's Environment Program.
(People's Daily November 26, 2002)