On September 26, a thematic briefing and two sub-seminars highlighting the success of green development in Fujian Province were held in Beijing. Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee (IDCPC), You Quan, Secretary of the CPC Fujian Provincial Committee, and a dozen Secretary of CPC Municipal Committee from Fujian presented at the venue.
The event, the fifth of stories of CPC series events, hosted by the IDCPC with IDCPC Vice-minister Guo Yezhou as the anchor, aimed at telling stories of CPC's new development concepts through introducing practices of different CPC provincial committees to the international community with a thematic session.
Around 400 political figures and delegates from Europe, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and other countries gathered to exchange their experience in promoting green development.
Dilemma not to be ignored
"The CPC has always paid great attention to green development and ecological civilization in governing the country", said Song Tao, Minister of IDCPC in the thematic briefing session of the event.
Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee gives a speech at the thematic briefing
"Over the past five years, the CPC has overcome the difficulties in economic development and ecological environmental protection, to build a modern country of harmony between the human being and nature," Song said.
The dilemma between economic development and the environment is a global issue, said Song. Toward global challenges, Song called for political parties around the world to enhance communication and learn from each other with an open mind.
The CPC actively advocates the values of green development, by incorporating the construction of an ecological civilization into the CPC Constitution, and green development has become a trending theme of the time we are living in, he said.
He noted that the CPC has taken practical measures to push forward green development, and carried out international cooperation. China has achieved remarkable results and garnered valuable experience in reducing carbon emissions and coping with climate change.
Model of green development
"The practices of the CPC Fujian Provincial Committee in promoting green development is a model in balancing economic growth and building a modern society of harmony between humans and the nature," Song said at the thematic briefing.
Boasting magnificent scenery, Fujian Province is renowned as the land of great potential. Fujian has committed itself to environmental protection through innovation and improved environmental awareness, according to the thematic briefing. All round progress has been made in environmental pollution prevention and control, and construction and management of nature reserves.
You Quan, Secretary of the CPC Fujian Provincial Committee shares Fujian’s experience in promoting green development with attendees
At the thematic briefing, You Quan, Secretary of the CPC Fujian Provincial Committee, said that CPC Fujian Provincial Committee has took an "add and subtract" approach to promoting green development. While developing the green economy Fujian also transferred and upgraded traditional industry, he said.
The add approach includes the vigorous developing the green economy, recycling economy and low-carbon economy and actively encouraging those projects which are green, high-tech and with big market potential.
The subtract approach means the local government cuts overcapacity and transforms and upgrades traditional labor-intensive industries, including clothing, food, footwear and machinery sectors.
At the same time, the government bans and eliminates high energy consumption and high pollution industries, including small coal mines, small oil refining plants and backward thermal power stations.
At present, the province's GDP per unit of energy consumption fell to 0.439 tons of standard coal for every $15,000 in production value, 25 percent lower than the national average level.
When inspecting Fujian in October 2014 to monitor the ecological progress, Xi said that lush mountains and clean waters are the biggest resources and assets of the province, and its most valuable brand which must be protected.
Industrial transformation and upgrading is one of Fujian's protection measures. Major efforts have been made to develop the modern service industry like ecotourism and strategic emerging industries such as energy conservation, environmental protection, new energy and information technology. A group of industrial clusters worth more than $15 billion in output value have each taken shape, such as Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. and Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. Ltd.
In 2016, Fujian's GDP reached $42.5 billion, with the value added of strategic emerging industries accounted for 11 percent, up from 7.45 percent in 2012.
A balance attained
"Fujian spared no efforts in environment protection and pollution prevention and strengthened pollution treatment measures against water, air, and soil pollution, which affect people's livelihood the most," You said.
From potholed roads, polluted skies and frequent water shortages to a gold medal winner of International Garden City awarded by the United Nations Environment Program and International Federation of Park and Recreation Administration. That's the total turnaround William·N·Brown has seen in Xiamen City in just 30 years.
William·N·Brown, a professor at Xiamen University gives a speech at the thematic briefing
As a professor at Xiamen University in southeast China's Fujian Province, Brown said he had witnessed radical economic transformation in the province driven by CPC Fujian Provincial Committee's efforts to promote green development.
"China has learned a lot from the world about environmental protection and I think the world should also learn from China," said Brown. "What I admire about Fujian's leaders is that they made an overall and comprehensive plan for Xiamen's development based on Chinese urban development experience," he said.
"The views were great. Everything was green and clean," said Charles Kayonga, Ambassador of Rwanda to China, when asked about his impressions of Fujian Province.
"Green strategy is a part of the core of the CPC. The leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping has paid great attention to ecological progress in governing the country," Kayonga told ChinAfrica. Rwanda is one of the cleanest countries in Africa, and its leadership also focuses on green development as a core part of the national economy. "I expect more cooperation among universities and industries between the two countries in green development," he said.
The Centennial Ecological Park in Changting County in west Fujian showcases the progress of the province's ecological development. The aromatic camphor trees are just one of the Park's success stories.
In the autumn of 2001, Xi, who then worked as the Governor of Fujian Province, made an inspection tour to Changting and instructed that soil erosion control should be included in the programs of the provincial CPC Committee and government in addressing people's practical needs. As a result, over the next decade, 108,000 hectares of afforestation has taken place, contributing greatly to the prevention of soil erosion.
Now the once barren land has been transformed into a lush agricultural garden producing all types of fruit, including different varieties of melon, and it is also a lush floral kingdom with aquatics under state protection, which returns to the natural ecological habitat.
Paolo Ferrero, Vice-president of the Party of the European Left gives a speech at the thematic briefing session
China has a different way to promote ecological development compared to Western countries, said Paolo Ferrero, Vice President of the Party of the European Left. "We are happy to see China's efforts to protect the environment," he said, adding that he hopes to see enhancement of cooperation between Europe and China.
The current forest coverage on the mountains in Fujian Province is 65.96 percent. Government statistics show that in 2016, a total of 96.5 percent the province's major rivers enjoyed Grade I, II and III water quality (acceptable water quality with Grade I as the top).
The air quality of all 9 prefecture-level cities was greatly improved, with average level reaching or outperforming Grade 2 (good quality) of the national air quality standard. Last year, the province was also officially designated as the National Ecological Conservation Pilot Zone. Experts believe that this honor justifies Fujian's position as a national leader in regard to ecological progress.
Muhammad Faruk Khan, presidium member of the Bangladesh Awami League gives a speech at the thematic briefing
After concluding his visits to a number of sustainable and environmentally-friendly projects in Fuzhou and Quanzhou cities in Fujian Province, Muhammad Faruk Khan, Presidium Member of the Bangladesh Awami League said the experiences of Fujian in green development is a shining example of the development of China, and he looks forward to sharing his experiences at home when he returns.
"The world supports and understands the green development initiative proposed by President Xi and the concept of sustainable development is important to the world," he said.
Foreign political figures and delegates take a selfie in front of exhibition boards
Foreign political figures and delegates read exhibition boards introducing ecological progress Fujian Province achieved
Over 300 political figures and delegates from Europe, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and other countries attend the event in IDCPC on September 26