Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao delivers a speech at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 summit) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 20, 2012. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
RIO DE JANEIRO, June 20 (Xinhua) -- China is committed to sustainable development along with the international community, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said here Wednesday.
Addressing a high-level roundtable of the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 summit), Wen said China is a staunch supporter of the concept of sustainable development.
Since the 1970s, China has participated in all the major international conferences related to the formation and evolution of the sustainable development concept and made positive contributions in this regard, he said.
In light of the experience gained from domestic and foreign practices, China has put forward the concept of scientific development and endeavored to build a resource-saving and environment-friendly society, he said.
Actively putting into practice its sustainable development strategy, China pays special attention to harmonizing the relationships between economic development, social progress and environmental protection, the Chinese premier said.
In the past 34 years, China's gross domestic product (GDP) has grown by an annual average of 9.9 percent while the number of people living in poverty dropped by more than 200 million, Wen said, adding that China has become the first country in the world to meet the Millennium Development Goals of halving the proportion of the poor.
On social progress, China has implemented free compulsory education and established basic pension and basic healthcare systems covering both urban and rural areas, he said.
As a strong advocate of international cooperation on sustainable development, China has been actively engaged in South-South cooperation, he noted.
By the end of 2011, China had written off debts worth 30 billion RMB (4.7 billion U.S. dollars) owed by 50 heavily indebted poor countries and least developed countries (LDCs), offered zero tariffs on more than 60 percent of products from 38 LDCs and provided preferential loans worth more than 100 billion RMB (15.7 billion dollars) for other developing countries, he said.
Actively advancing North-South cooperation, China has set up cooperation mechanisms with the developed countries in the fields of environmental conservation, climate change and energy resources, Wen said.
China has also been vigorously involved in the activities of international organizations, earnestly implemented international conventions and fulfilled the responsibilities and obligations commensurate with its capabilities, he added.
Wen said China faces an uphill journey in promoting sustainable development as its per capita income ranks just 90th in the world, despite the size of its economy, now the second largest in the world.
China will speed up the transformation of its economic development mode, adjust and optimize the economic structure, and keep a reasonable control on its total energy consumption, the premier said.
He pledged that China will take a more active part in pushing forward international cooperation, participate in global governance for sustainable development, gradually increase assistance to other developing countries and work with the international community to build a better world for future generations.
Premier Wen attends Rio+20, visits Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile