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Ecological civilization flourishes under Xi's vision

By HOU LIQIANG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-11-19 07:00
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An excited girl feeds a black-headed gull on a riverside walkway in Kunming, Yunnan province, on Sunday. The Communist Party of China and the entire nation have made great efforts and progress in pursuing green development. [Photo by Yang Zheng/For China Daily]

The Communist Party of China, with General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping at the core, has made unprecedented endeavors in the history of the development of mankind to promote institutional design for ecological civilization, according to a document. Xi promoted a concept for balanced and sustainable development that features harmonious coexistence between man and nature.

Since the Party's 18th National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee has made greater efforts than ever before on ecological civilization, said a landmark resolution on the major achievements and historical experience of the Party over the past century.

"The whole Party and the entire nation have become more conscious and active in pursuing green development, and made significant progress in building a Beautiful China," said the document, which was issued on Tuesday and adopted at the sixth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, held in Beijing from Nov 8 to 11.

The 18th CPC National Congress was key to China's environmental governance progress, said Qian Yong, director of the Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization.

"Ecological civilization construction and the institutional systems for environmental protection have been promoted in an accelerated manner since then," he said.

The congress saw ecological civilization inscribed into the CPC's Constitution. In addition to giving high priority to ecological development, the congress pledged to incorporate ecological civilization into all aspects of economic, political, cultural and social advancement.

Qian said the Chinese government has been advocating and working to advance ecological civilization against the backdrop of the serious challenges presented by industrialization, such as environmental pollution and ecosystem degradation.

In 2017, Xi said in his report to the 19th CPC National Congress that building an ecological civilization is vital to sustaining China's development.

"We must realize that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets and act on this understanding, implement our fundamental national policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment, and cherish the environment as we cherish our own lives," Xi said.

In 2018, ecological civilization was included into the nation's Constitution. At a tone-setting national ecological and environmental protection conference held in the year, Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization was officially established.

Addressing the national conference, Xi said China will push for coordination between economic and social development and ecological civilization.

The country will channel more energy into promoting ecological civilization and resolving environmental problems, backed by the political advantages of the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC and the socialist system, as well as the achievements made during the 40 years of reform and opening-up, he noted.

Thanks to all-out efforts of the CPC, a series of institutions for the construction of ecological civilization have been established in the country, according to the recent landmark resolution.

"We have promoted the enforcement of red lines for ecological conservation, set benchmarks for environmental quality, imposed caps on resource utilization, and launched a whole raft of pioneering initiatives that will have fundamental and far-reaching significance," it said.

It said China has set up effective systems in many areas, including performance evaluation and accountability for ecological conservation, compensation for ecological conservation, and the designation of river, lake and forest chiefs.

Hu Kanping, a researcher at the Chinese Ecological Civilization Research and Promotion Association, said people can hardly find another country like China that sees its central leadership vigorously promoting top-level design for ecological civilization.

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