China lays out guidelines to build a Beautiful China by 2035

A set of crucial guidelines have been reviewed and adopted by a meeting of the Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform under the 20th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Tuesday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who chaired the meeting, has urged efforts to basically accomplish the goal of building a Beautiful China by 2035.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, China has firmly upheld the belief that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets and has prioritized eco-environmental conservation and green development.

Five years later, the building of a Beautiful China, which calls for respecting, protecting and being in harmony with nature, was proposed by the report to the 19th CPC National Congress.

Tuesday's meeting was held at an important juncture in time, as Xi had put forward at a national conference for ecological and environmental protection in July that the coming five years will be critical to the building of a Beautiful China.

Building a Beautiful China

One of the guidelines the meeting has adopted is building a Beautiful China in all respects.

Noting building a Beautiful China is an important task of building a modern socialist country in all respects, Xi urged efforts to intensify pollution prevention and control and accelerate the transition to green development.

China's ecological environment has continued to improve over the past decades.

Its PM2.5 concentrations in urban area have dropped by 57 percent and heavy pollution days have decreased by 93 percent compared with ten years ago.

The country supported its annual 6.2 percent GDP growth with an annual energy consumption growth rate of 3 percent, and has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 34.4 percent.

China has also built the world's largest carbon market, and its installed capacity of photovoltaic, hydropower, and wind power, as well as the production and sales of new energy vehicles, all rank first in the world.

"It is necessary to further promote China's wisdom and initiatives, especially the ecological conservation red line and ecological restoration, and our experience of building a Beautiful China through the Belt and Road Initiative to the world," Wei Fuwen, academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences told CGTN.

Enhancing region-specific management

As a healthy ecological environment is the foundation of building a Beautiful China, the meeting also adopted a guideline for enhancing region-specific management and control of the ecological environment.

The meeting called for efforts to implement the functional zoning strategy, connect national spatial planning focus points on prominent problems in regional and river-basin ecological environments, and improve the region-specific management and control of ecology and environment.

When talking about how to better manage the ecological environment, Qu Jiuhui, a researcher from the Ecological and Environmental Research Center at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that if carbon neutrality is considered in the green construction of river basin, the watershed governance should also be reformed in a holistic and systematic way.

"It is necessary to take into account the factors including materials, environments, risks, and climate, and the control object should be changed from the original environment, energy, transportation and industries to the whole life cycle," Qu told CGTN.

China's ecological conservation red lines reached about 3.19 million square kilometers, covering all 35 key areas for biodiversity conservation and more than 90 percent of typical ecosystems, according to the Blue Book of China's Ecological Conservation Red Lines released by the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources, the country's first publication of the kind.

Among the overall red lines, the land ecological conservation red lines cover about 3.04 million square kilometers, accounting for over 30 percent of China's land area, says the blue book.

(Cover: An aerial view of Heisha Lake in Wuhu, Anhui Province, August 3, 2023. /CFP)

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