China teams up with US to fight air pollution

By He Shan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, March 18, 2015
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The China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a leading Chinese think tank based in Beijing, is cooperating with the United States' Paulson Institute on the air pollution issue that plagues China's Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, the vice chairman of CCIEE said in Beijing on Wednesday.

The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, one of China's major heavy industrial bases, has been struggling with the worst air pollution in China. [Photo/]

Henry Paulson, chairman of the Paulson Institute and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, visited the city of Baoding in Hebei Province on a field-survey visit to gain knowledge of the air pollution in the city.

During the visit, he said, "The Paulson Institute has been committed to promoting Sino-U.S. ties in the fields of economics and environmental protection and hopes to provide as much assistance as it can to the air pollution efforts in Hebei."

Paulson also met with China's Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli at a separate meeting on Tuesday. The premier expressed similar hopes that the organization could make new progress in advancing bilateral ties in trade and environmental protection.

The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, one of China's major heavy industrial bases, has been struggling with the worst air pollution in China, which is compounded by topography that hinders the dispersal of pollutants.

In the newest air quality data released, Hebei Province had some of the highest rates of air pollution. A list of the 10 cities with the worst air pollution included six cities from the province.

Last year, the Paulson Institute launched the Climate Change and Air Pollution Plan aimed at solving China's air pollution problem through research, analysis and pilot programs.

In 2011, the institute entered a partnership with the CCIEE to work on China's sustainable initiatives and urbanization drive.

Wei Jianguo, vice chairman of the CCIEE, said that China is at a key phase in its urbanization and faces not only a host of unprecedented opportunities but also many challenges.

Wei said, "The CCIEE stands ready to help promote cooperation between the Paulson Institute and Chinese cities to explore the best approaches and accrue useful experience for the development of China's new urbanization."

Deborah Lehr, senior fellow at the Paulson Institute, noted a complete change in the mindset of the Chinese leaders, who have now recognized the importance of sustainability.

Speaking about the details of cooperation on the air pollution issue, Wei said the two organizations have decided to focus on Hebei Province in 2015. He revealed that they will formulate a detailed plan that will be carried out in phases, including fact-checking, technology integration and new technology introduction.

"The cooperation is funded by enterprises," he said. "The CCIEE will learn from the United States and other countries to tackle the problems emerging from the progress of advancing urbanization, including air pollution."

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