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China to embark on path of "green rise"
www.chinaview.cn 2005-06-19 09:06:55

    BEIJING, June 18 (Xinhuanet) -- A senior Chinese official in charge of environmental protection Saturday warned that environmental crisis coupled with many social problems will come earlier than expected if the country fails to embark on a path of "green rise" immediately.

    Pan Yue, deputy director of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), said at the Seventh Green China Forum, which started here Saturday, that although China has become the biggest manufacturer in the world after experiencing rapid economic development over the past 20 years, it "has paid a high environmental price".

    The forum has attracted more than 200 governmental officials, experts and business people to discuss ways to sustainably develop the country.

    Pan said that serious pollution is occurring in a China with a per capita GDP lingering between 400 and 1000 US dollars, whereas it emerged in western countries when the per capita GDP was 3,000 to 10,000 dollars.

    "The pollution load of China will quadruple in 2020 when the country's GDP quadruples if the pace of pollution remains unchanged." By then, China will only have six out of the current 45 major mineral resources, Pan said.

    China ranks first in daily water consumption and sewage discharge, and second in energy consumption and carbon dioxide discharge. Its energy consumption is seven times that of Japan, six times that of the United States and 2.8 times that of India interms of unit GDP.

    China currently has a population of 1.3 billion, compared to the 600 million it had when New China was founded in 1949. But land suitable for people to live has shrunk from six million square kilometers to the current three million square kilometers due to serious soil erosion.

    Pan added that people should not be happy about China being called "the World Factory" like we were several years ago, since China only makes "low grade industrial products" for the developedcountries "by using our own resources".

    Pan criticized the view of developing first and preventing and controlling pollution later, saying it is "absolutely wrong".

    Pan urged that China should embark on the path of a "green rise" to calmly face the "green barrier" erected by the developed countries and pledged that China will honor all signed international pacts on environmental protection like the Kyoto protocol.   Enditem

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