Chinese President Xi Jinping, also General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, checks the Yellow River's waterways and learns about the ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River basin at a dock as he inspects the estuary of the Yellow River in the city of Dongying, east China's Shandong Province, on October 20 (XINHUA)
Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 22 urged notable progress in ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River basin during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025).
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while addressing a symposium in Jinan, east China's Shandong Province.
Xi called for unremitting efforts to ensure that the Yellow River will always benefit the Chinese nation.
Despite new progress, there are still major problems and difficulties facing ecological conservation and high-quality development of the basin, Xi said.
He said provincial-level regions along the Yellow River should stick to putting the environment first and being committed to green development.
Calling attention to water safety risks and the profound impacts brought by climate change, Xi said the capability to deal with disasters must be improved to better protect people's lives.
Local officials were urged to put overall interests above everything else when dealing with major issues and bear in mind the long-term goal to avoid the short-sighted pursuit of quick payoffs, Xi said.
He also demanded a stable supply of coal and electricity to ensure smooth economic and social order.
Xi stressed the implementation of major tasks for promoting ecological conservation and high-quality development of the Yellow River basin during the 14th Five-Year Plan period.
Accelerated efforts should be made to put in place preventive measures against natural disasters, he said, while urging meticulous utilization as well as strict and careful management of water resources.
Better work should be done to control soil erosion and desertification in the upper and middle reaches of the Yellow River, and strengthen coordinated environmental overhaul of the lower reaches' waterways and flood plain, Xi said, adding that biodiversity in the river delta should be enhanced.
He also called for expediting the creation of a new pattern of protecting and utilizing national territorial space.
Xi pointed out that the CPC Central Committee had made a comprehensive plan on promoting ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River basin and the key lies in implementation with unified thought. He encouraged market entities and social forces to take an active part.
Some regions of the Yellow River basin suffered rare flooding in recent months, Xi said, calling for effective measures in post-disaster reconstruction, and in particular, efforts to help the people in need.
Attending the symposium, Vice Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, underlined the need to study Xi's speech and instructions to ensure the implementation of all major tasks of ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River basin.
Xi conducted field research before convening the symposium. On October 20, he inspected the estuary of the Yellow River where he said solid progress in protecting the river is an important task of state governance.
At a national-level nature reserve, Xi said that the nature reserve of the Yellow River Delta plays a key role in ecological conservation. He encouraged building a national park of the river estuary.
When visiting the Agricultural High-tech Industrial Demonstration Area of the Yellow River Delta on October 21, Xi said the comprehensive use of saline-alkali soil is of strategic importance to national food security.
Visiting a residential community of relocated residents, Xi called for coordination in relocation settlement, industry development, employment, and the provision of public facilities and community services.
Xi later visited a research institute in the Shengli Oilfield. "To meet the core demand of oil and gas is an important task for us," he said, adding that exploration must be boosted to improve self-reliance capacity.
Resources should be pulled together to achieve breakthroughs in core and key technologies and promote cleaner and more efficient development and use of energy, Xi said.
When visiting a drilling platform in the Shengli Oilfield, Xi extended sincere greetings to oil workers as this year marks the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the oilfield.
Xi also fully acknowledged the work of the province since the 19th CPC National Congress and urged Shandong to continuously improve people's living standards and promote common prosperity.