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Ningxia urged to deepen reforms

Xi: Safeguarding Yellow River basin environment a key factor for region

By Mo Jingxi | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-22 07:06
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President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visits a residential community in Yinchuan, capital of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, on Wednesday afternoon. He learnt about how Party organizations at the grassroots level perform their duties, as well as the community's work in improving services for residents and facilitating exchanges and interactions among people of different ethnic groups. XIE HUANCHI/XINHUA

President Xi Jinping has stressed the importance of ecological conservation and high-quality development of the Yellow River basin as he urged the Ningxia Hui autonomous region in northwestern China to deepen reforms in key areas in accordance with local conditions.

He also encouraged Ningxia, a pivotal region along the ancient Silk Road, to actively participate in Belt and Road cooperation and construction of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor in the western region, deepen economic and trade cooperation with Arab nations, and help promote inland opening-up.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during a two-day fact-finding trip to the region starting from Wednesday, after he wrapped up a visit to Qinghai province.

In a meeting held in Yinchuan, the region's capital, on Thursday, Xi told local Party and government officials that the ecological and environmental protection of the Yellow River, the Helan Mountains, the Liupan Mountains and Luoshan Mountain should be the baseline when Ningxia plans for reform and development.

The Yellow River, China's second-longest river, which is also known as the cradle of Chinese civilization, runs eastward from Qinghai through nine provinces and autonomous regions before it meets the Bohai Sea in Shandong province.

As the only provincial-level region in the country entirely located within the Yellow River basin, Ningxia is surrounded by deserts on three sides and faces the daunting task of conserving and restoring ecosystems.

Xi said the region must implement the strictest system regarding water resource management and take critical steps to address desertification in areas near the meandering bends of the Yellow River, which is one of the country's three landmark projects for the shelter-belt program in Northwest, North and Northeast China.

He also called for coordinated efforts to preserve and restore the ecosystems of forests, grasslands, wetlands and deserts to make Ningxia, known as "Jiangnan (areas south of the Yangtze River known for abundance and beautiful scenery) in the north", a more beautiful place.

Highlighting Ningxia's unique geographical conditions and resources, Xi encouraged the region to pursue a differentiated path of industrial development with specialized features in order to build a competitive modernized industrial system reflecting the region's advantages.

He also urged the region to speed up efforts to promote the integration of culture and tourism and actively promote tourism with local characteristics.

Continuous efforts are needed to develop Ningxia's modern coal industry, as well as the new materials and clean energy industries, while cultivating specialty industries like wine and goji berries, Xi said.

As a major power supplier to eastern China, Ningxia is at the forefront of China's transition towards clean and efficient utilization of coal, based on its abundant solar and wind resources.

By the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), Ningxia's installed capacity for new energy is expected to reach 55 million kilowatts, which can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 65 million tons annually, according to local authorities.

Noting that Ningxia consists of irrigated areas in the north and mountainous areas in the south, Xi said it is important to consider the specific conditions in different places when planning for industrial cooperation, in order to realize coordinated development across the whole region.

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