Premier Wen Jiabao Friday affirmed China's adherence to the principles of sustainable growth during its industrialization and modernization drive and said his government has set guidelines for China's endeavor to build a better-off society, which focuses on an overall, balanced and sustainable development.
"China will manage to fulfill a balance of urban and rural development, economic and social development, as well as harmonious coexistence of humans and the nature," Wen said in his meeting with major Chinese and foreign members of the China Council for International Cooperation on the Environment and Development (CCICED).
He said it was the lesson from the summary China has drawn from over 20 years of practical experience in its reform, opening-up and modernization.
China's industrialization would follow the principles of cost-effectiveness, low consumption of resources, low pollution and efficient use of human resources, said Premier Wen.
Launched in 1992 with support from the Chinese central government, the CCICED has given scope to a role as a senior advisory body that set forth proposals on crucial environmental and development issues with the government.
It has become a tradition that senior Chinese leaders have face-to-face communication with the council members during each annual session.
Mans Lonnroth, former state secretary of Sweden's Ministry of Environment and also vice-chairman of the council, told Wen that China's rapid economic growth could be as hazardous as "riding a tiger" if the pollution-first-treatment-later mode was not changed.
He said China has special advantages in facing challenges because its government has strong power to control industrialization and it is still not too late for the change.
Wen said the hard work of the CCICED members has greatly benefited environmental protection and sustainable development of China in past years, and he hoped that the members would continue to contribute.
Chaired by Chinese Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan, the council has a group of high-profile officials and academics as its members, including Klaus Topfer, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations and executive director of the UN's Environment Program, and Xie Zhenhua, director of China's State Environmental Protection Administration.
The council is convening its annual session in Beijing to discuss how China can adopt a sustainable industrialization mode in the process of building a better-off society.
(People’s Daily October 30, 2003)