Wen Jiabao: China committed to sustainable development

Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Wednesday China was committed to sustainable development and had made it a national development strategy.

Speaking to a sustainable development forum in Stockholm, Wen recalled that, 40 years ago, Stockholm hosted the United Nations Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, a meeting that marked the beginning of general public awareness of the importance of environmental protection, and opened a new era for sustainable development.

Over the past 40 years, China had attended all significant meetings on sustainable development, Wen said. It had also taken resource conservation and environment protection as a basic national policy and raised it to the level of a national development strategy.

“Since the start of the new century, we have taken the outlook on scientific development as an important guiding principle in economic and social development,” Wen told the forum, which was attended by Swedish leaders and senior officials from more than 70 countries.

Wen said that, as the biggest developing country in the world, China was still in the process of industrialization and urbanization, and faced serious problems from unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development.

At present, China was implementing its 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) for national economic and social development. “The plan demonstrates the government’s strong commitment that China will never pursue economic growth at the expense of the environment and people’s health,” he said.

Wen said sustainable development was both a global trend and a long-term and huge task for the world, and “therefore we need to be innovative in creating new ideas, make breakthroughs in practice, and join hands in action.”

To that end, Wen stressed protection of people’s equal environmental rights, insisting on green development and strengthening global governance for sustainable development.

“We only have one Earth,” Wen said, “We live on this planet together, and so we have the duty to join hands in protecting our homes and prevent the ‘silent spring’ from happening, and strive to create a world with bird song and the fragrance of flowers.”

“I hope today’s conference is not only an occasion for commemoration, but also for reflection and promise,” Wen said.

The Stockholm Plus 40 Partnership Forum for Sustainable Development, held on April 23-25, commemorates the first U.N. Conference on Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972.

Wen attended the event during a two-day official visit to Sweden, the first official visit to the Nordic country by a Chinese premier in nearly 30 years. Wen’s four-nation tour will also take him to Poland.


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