China's top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, raised the nation's oil prices last week in an unprecedented upswing in energy prices.
The action has caused wide concern, as some economists worry that the price increase might fuel inflationary pressure.
However, an editorial in the Beijing News pointed out that the price rise is a good chance to promote energy conservation.
The paper says in the past, the central government has always provided financial subsidies to maintain relatively low oil price. Furthermore, the low oil price has to some extent encouraged energy consumption. This is also why sales of fuel-inefficient cars like SUVs have increased greatly in China in the past three years.
As the global oil price continues to soar, the domestic oil price should return to the market-oriented system, so that China is expected to promote energy conservation and effectively use limited energy resources.
The article goes on to say that the public should take an active attitude towards the rise in energy price. Faced with a global energy crisis, both governments and citizens need to take concrete actions to reduce energy waste so that the country could turn the energy threat into an opportunity to enhance economic competitive power.
(CRI June 25, 2008)