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Guangxi to Develop "Green" Beibu Gulf Zone
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South-west China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has vowed that the development of the Beibu Gulf economic zone will not come at the cost of its ecological resources and natural environment, as they serve as the backbone of the area's sustainability.

In an interview on Wednesday, in Nanning, capital city of Guangxi, Liang Bin, director of the provincial Environmental Protection Bureau, told the China News Service that accelerated development, increasing influx of migrant workers into the Beibu Gulf area and the resulting rapid urbanization will inevitably put ever greater pressure on the area's environmental and ecological balance.

Liang said Guangxi will enhance the protection of the ecological environment in the Beibu Gulf area and pre-empt industrial pollution by setting strict standards for the construction of enterprises in the development zone. He said priority will be given to those large-scale enterprises that have the technological know-how to deal with pollutants. Meanwhile, the provincial government will enact policy measures to promote recycling and the scientific lay-out of industries.

The official cited three of Guangxi's coastal cities as representatives of the region's resolve to preserve its pristine natural environment.

Qinzhou city, for example, celebrated for the rare hump-backed dolphins found in the waters of Qinzhou Bay, will only give a green light to projects that have passed a required environmental protection assessment. In Qinzhou, PetroChina has won approval of its oil-refining project, which has an annual capacity of 10 million tons. But it comes only after the project's waste water drainage system was raised to the most stringent of levels.

In neighbouring Fangchenggang, the city's leadership has vowed that not one single tree of its local mangrove forest will be sacrificed for the sake of development projects. Similarly in Beihai, the preservation of its famous beaches takes precedent over development projects.

The Beibu Gulf Economic Zone covers six coastal cities along the Beibu Gulf in Guangxi. It integrates the cities of Nanning, the region's capital, Beihai, Qinzhou, Fangchenggang, Chongzuo and Yulin.

During a recent inspection tour of Guangxi, China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin, called for the sound and rapid development of the Beibu Gulf Economic Zone. The senior Chinese leader reiterated the need for building a "green economic zone" in the Beibu Gulf area, to be achieved by enhancing environmental protection, improving energy-saving measures and being frugal in the utilization of land.

(CRIENGLISH.com June 7, 2007)

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