Wen pledges development
Updated: 2012-04-26 08:11
By Hu Yinan and Fu Jing in Stockholm (China Daily)
Premier Wen Jiabao is welcomed by Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk at the Prime Minister's Chancellery in Warsaw on Wednesday. Kacper Pempel / Reuters
Premier says nation in a period of growth that could last generations
China is faced with a "long-term and formidable task" to transform its development pattern and realize sustainable growth, Premier Wen Jiabao said on his European trip, pledging that his country is determined to continue development through the efforts of "dozens of generations".
Wen highlighted his strategy before he left Sweden, with which China has signed agreements on sustainable cooperation. On Wednesday, Wen arrived in Poland for the final leg of his four-country tour, which included Iceland and Germany.
"China has a strategic period of development, which may last 10 or 20 years, but our aim is not to achieve development over just 10 or 20 years," Wen said, when meeting overseas Chinese.
"We aim to achieve development over 50 years, 100 years ... dozens of generations. Therefore, we must attach great importance to China's sustainable development."
Though China is the world's second-largest economy, Wen said that Chinese people have no reason to become self-satisfied, but should be mindful of potential perils because of the demanding challenges the country faces.
"So we must spare no effort to learn from other countries' advanced experiences and civilizations ... to build our country's beautiful future," said Wen.
At the Stockholm+40 conference, Wen pressed for global action on sustainable development that strikes a balance between economic growth, social progress and environmental protection, instead of focusing exclusively on the environment.
The principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" should be upheld in order to help developing countries gain their fair right to development, said Wen.
The conference was to commemorate the 1972 United Nations Conference on Human Environment in the Swedish capital. That conference, the first global convention attended by the People's Republic of China after it resumed its legal seat in the UN in 1971, has been widely recognized as initiating the global discussion on sustainability.
Calling China a firm supporter and practitioner of the concept, Wen said the new conference should be as much a platform for commemoration as one for reflection and commitment.
The Stockholm+40 conference, attended by more than 30 government ministers from countries around the world, is the last major global event on sustainability before world leaders head to Brazil in June for the UN's Rio+20 conference on sustainable development.
Swedish politician Anders Wijkman said it is also time for developed countries to learn from emerging economies.
"We can learn from China, which is the world's biggest producer of clean-tech equipment and also has a very clear vision of sustainable development," said Wijkman, a former member of the European Parliament now working as vice-chairman of the Club of Rome, a think tank. "The key for us is to forge a partnership and go ahead, without hesitation."
Tom Johnstone, President and CEO of SKF Group, a Swedish bearing producer and supplier, said Wen's speeches in Sweden once again indicated that China is focusing on sustainable growth with more quality than quantity growth. To achieve this, enterprises can play a big role, he said.
"One of the key factors in our business plan is to speed up the knowledge transfer to China and really support China's transformation from 'Made in China' to 'Developed in China'," said Johnstone, whose company has 100 years of experience in doing business in China and is the largest bearing supplier in the Chinese market.
To achieve this, the company will train around 2,500 people in the SKF China College.
At the conference, Wen said China, as it fast-tracks industrialization and urbanization, is facing a series of problems rooted in unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development.
The 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15) has reflected Beijing's will never to sacrifice the environment and people's health for growth, he said.
On Tuesday, Wen and his Swedish counterpart, Fredrik Reinfeldt, signed five bilateral trade deals and six corporate-level agreements after a meeting in Stockholm. Wen also announced a 1 billion euro ($1.32 billion) loan for innovation by Chinese and Swedish firms, and invited Swedish companies to invest in China.
In Poland, the premier met Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Wednesday, with whom he would later attend an event to mark the signing ceremony of a batch of bilateral deals. Wen would also meet Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, and then take an early evening walk in Warsaw's Lazienki Park with Tusk.
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(China Daily 04/26/2012 page3)