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Ecological, balanced future of Yangtze topic at forum
source: chinadaily.com.cn     2018-08-06

 

Freighters and cruise ships sail on the waters of the Yangtze River in Yichang, Central China's Hubei province. [Photo/VCG] 

 

Attendees at a group discussion on eco-friendly and balanced development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt in Wuhan on Saturday. [Provided by Jia Yanhua for chinadaily.com.cn] 

Eco-friendly and balanced development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt was highlighted on Saturday in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, as officials, experts and members of the media discussed how best to protect the natural resources of the area.

The group discussion was organized by dozens of media organizations — from the upper reaches of the Yangtze in Yunnan province to the river's estuary in the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang — that have reported on the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt.

The development of the belt, which covers 11 provincial regions with a combined GDP that accounts for more than 40 percent of China's total, is a key national strategy.

Reporters raised questions focusing on strengthening environmental protection along the Yangtze while promoting the regional economic development at the same time, and government officials were there to answer.

Ning Hong, a reporter from China Global Television Networks, raised questions about the industrial pollution of the river, and inquired about governmental solutions.

"We have seen a lot of factories on the riverbanks along the way," Ning said. "If the governments are to move or close them, how can we ensure they won't rise again or pollute other places?"

Zhou Hu, deputy inspector from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said strict inspections have been conducted along the river, and about 700 high-risk chemical companies have been moved.

"Many of them have been relocated to new industrial parks with centralized waste treatment facilities that comply with green standards," Zhou said.

Li Zhong, a researcher at the Center for Land Development and Regional Economics of National Development and Reform Commission, added that the relocations also have provided a chance for the companies to upgrade their production equipment and methods.

Speaking of pollution from agriculture, Li said the Ministry of Agriculture has issued an action plan to prevent agricultural pollution, and is working on designing a standard for green agriculture.

Wang Lin, a reporter with China Youth Daily, asked about the feasibility of coordinated action by provinces against pollution.

"Special methods of river protection, such as the River Chief system, have taken place here and there, but once the action involved inter-provincial cooperation, problems would rise," Wang said. "How do we tackle this kind of problem?"

Zhou Xiaoqi, deputy director of fundamental industry department National Development and Reform Commission, said a leading group headed by Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli was established to make major development decisions in the Yangtze River Economic Belt in 2014, and cooperative cross-provincial working mechanisms for the upper, middle, and lower reaches of the Yangtze also were established.

"Those mechanisms have been taking effect, and I believe the problems will be solved in the near future," Zhou said.

The development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, which covers 11 provincial regions whose combined GDP accounts for more than 40 percent of the country's total, is a key strategy for national development.

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