Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
We have just bid farewell to the first decade of the 21st century, and today, we are gathered here for the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2010 in this season of revival, when the global economy is turning for the better. On behalf of the Chinese Government, I wish to extend warm congratulations on the opening of the annual conference and sincere welcome to all the distinguished guests present.
The BFA was inaugurated as the human society just entered the 21st century. Over the past nine years since its inception, the BFA, based in Asia with yet a global perspective, has played an active role in enhancing understanding and exchanges among people of countries in Asia and made important contribution to promoting peace and development in the region and the world at large. The theme of this year's annual conference—Green Recovery: Asia's Realistic Choice for Sustainable Growth—is highly relevant to facilitating global economic recovery and lasting prosperity.
Asia has withstood the severe impact of two financial crises since the late 1990s. The region now enjoys sustained economic growth and its influence in the world is growing. Asia was the first to achieve economic stabilization and turnaround at the end of last year, and has acted as a major engine behind world economic recovery. Asia has learned something from the two severe financial crises, this international financial crisis in particular. To maintain the sound momentum of economic development in the region and boost world economic growth, we must further improve the development model, and seek a path of green and sustainable development that is with Asian characteristics and is consistent with the trend of our times.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
When addressing the opening plenary of the BFA Annual Conference in 2008, President Hu Jintao pointed out that there is no a ready, unchanging path or model of development that suits all countries in the world. We must explore and improve our development path and development model in keeping with China's national conditions. And in so doing, we must adapt to changes both at home and abroad and endeavor to meet people's growing expectation for a better life. It was a forward-looking and profound judgment, and it is becoming even more so as the situation further evolves. Over the past 30 years since the start of reform and opening-up, China has achieved a sustained and fast annual growth rate of 9.8 percent by making full use of its comparative advantages. At the same time, however, constraints of resources and the environment on development have become more prominent. In response to it, we have drawn experience in a practical, scientific and timely manner, innovated our thinking on development, and steadily improved our development path and development model through practice.
We have put forward the following thinkings on development since the mid 1990s, in particular the beginning of the new century and new stage. We need to commit ourselves to the Scientific Outlook on Development that puts the people first and focuses on comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development. We need to handle the issue of environment and development extremely seriously and with a historic sense of mission, and need to adhere to the path of sustainable development. We need to implement the strategy of reinvigorating the nation through science and education, make strategic adjustment to the economic structure, and actively promote development through innovation. We need to develop the economy mainly by relying on the domestic market, and attach great importance to domestic demand, consumer demand in particular, in driving economic development. We need to pursue a sound approach to development aimed at expanding production and improving people's lives and the environment. We need to explore a new path to industrialization with Chinese characteristics, a path that features high scientific and technological content, good economic returns, low resource consumption, less pollution to the environment, and one that allows a full display of advantages of human resources. We need to take resource conservation as a basic national policy, develop circular economy, protect the environment, accelerate the pace to build a resource-conserving and environment-friendly society, and achieve economic growth in line with the realities concerning the population, resources and the environment. We need to take good care of planet Earth, our common home, promote a conservation culture, develop an industrial structure, a growth mode and a consumption pattern that is energy- and resource-efficient and environment-friendly, and raise the awareness of every family and every organization for resource conservation and environmental protection. We need to act in the spirit of being highly responsible for the long-term development of the Chinese nation and the whole mankind, strengthen overall capacity building to address climate change, and make unremitting efforts for the sustainable development of China and the world. We should be more soberly aware of the urgency to speed up transformation of economic development mode, and make transformation and development mutually reinforcing.
All these thinkings are highly consistent with the concept of green and sustainable development advocated by the international community, and their essence is scientific development. Scientific development means we need to follow the law of development and be innovative in thinking. We need to shift the development mode, address thorny issues and raise quality and efficiency to achieve sound and fast development. We need to put the people first and pursue comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development. And we need to strive for harmonious development by integrating all our undertakings and promoting unity and amity among all members of society. It means China's development is peaceful in nature. China's development contributes to world peace and is achieved on the basis of upholding world peace. To pursue scientific development, we will adapt to changes in economic globalization, and strive to achieve the goal of expanding production and improving people's lives and the environment under the guidance of a scientific concept, an open strategy, and a balanced and win-win approach to development.
China has initiated and followed the Scientific Outlook on Development, and has advocated green and sustainable development. More importantly, it has taken credible steps to achieve this goal. China was the first developing country to endorse the Agenda 21 and to elaborate a Comprehensive Work Plan for Energy Conservation and Emissions Reduction and a National Climate Change Program. In outlining the 11th Five Year Plan for national economic and social development back in 2006, China set a target to bring greenhouse gas emissions under control and basically reverse the trend of further deterioration of the environment by 2010. For the first four years of the 11th Five Year Plan till the end of 2009, energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) dropped by 14.38 percent cumulatively, and COD and SO2 emissions were down by 9.66 percent and 13.14 percent respectively. That was equivalent to the reduction of nearly 900 million tons of CO2 emissions. China was top of the world in 2009 in terms of installed hydropower capacity, nuclear power capacity under construction, the coverage of solar water heating panels and cumulative solar photovoltaic power capacity.