> China > Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era
Xi stresses building Beautiful China, advancing modernization featuring harmony between humanity and nature

BEIJING, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The National Conference on Ecological and Environmental Protection was held in Beijing from Monday to Tuesday. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended the conference and delivered an important speech. He stressed that the coming five years will be critical to the building of a Beautiful China. He emphasized the importance of thoroughly implementing the thought on socialist ecological civilization with Chinese characteristics for a new era, adhering to the people-centered principle, upholding and acting on the idea that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, and placing the building of a Beautiful China in a prominent position of building a great modern socialist country in all respects and rejuvenating the nation. Xi added that we should make remarkable achievements in promoting the significant improvement of urban and rural living environment and building a Beautiful China, support high-quality development with a high-quality ecological environment, and accelerate the advancement of modernization featuring harmony between humanity and nature.

Li Qiang presided over the conference. Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, and Li Xi attended the conference. Ding Xuexiang gave a concluding speech.

Xi stressed that since the 18th CPC National Congress, we have regarded ecological conservation as the fundamental strategy for the sustainable development of the Chinese nation, and carried out a series of groundbreaking work with unprecedented determination, intensity, and effectiveness. As a result, historic, transitional, and overall changes have taken place from theory to practice in ecological conservation, and major strides have been made in the building of a Beautiful China. Xi noted that by starting with addressing prominent ecological and environmental issues, focusing on combining work on selected spots with that of overall areas, and addressing both symptoms and root causes, we have achieved a significant transformation from remediation of major areas to systematic governance in this regard. By maintaining the change of mindset and making sure that responsibilities were fulfilled, and continuously strengthening the consciousness and initiative of the whole Party and the entire nation to promote ecological conservation, we have realized an important shift from passively responding to ecological issues to taking proactive actions to address them. By keeping abreast of the times, having world views, and shouldering its responsibilities as a major country, we have become a leader from a participant in global environmental governance. By constantly deepening our understanding of the laws regarding ecological conservation, we have developed the thought on socialist ecological civilization with Chinese characteristics for a new era, realizing a major shift from practical-exploration-based conservation to the one with theoretical guidance. These tenacious efforts have brought the country bluer skies, greener lands, cleaner waters, and a more colorful landscape. The achievements in ecological conservation in the new era have impressed the world and become a significant symbol of the historic achievements and changes the Party and the country have made in pursuit of its cause.

Xi underscored that our country still faces the structural, fundamental and sustained pressures in its ecological conservation and environmental protection. As the country's economic and social progress has entered a phase of ever-accelerating green and low-carbon high-quality development, ecological conservation is still under multiple pressures and has a lot of difficulties to overcome. It is thereby imperative to plan and promote work concerning ecological and environmental protection on the new journey from a higher position and with a broader vision and greater endeavors, so as to write a new chapter in the building of an ecological civilization for the new era.

While summing up its practical experience in the past ten years of the new era, and analyzing the new situation and problems it faces, China must adhere to the thought on socialist ecological civilization with Chinese characteristics for a new era, and properly handle several key relationships when continuing its endeavors in ecological conservation, Xi said. First, when it comes to the relationship between high-quality development and high-level protection, development plans must be made on the basis of a harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature. High-level environmental protection should help China continuously create new driving forces and new strengths for development, and commit itself to building a green, low-carbon and circular economy. In this way the country will effectively reduce resource and environmental costs, and continuously boost the potential and sustainability of its development. Second, when it comes to the relationship between tackling key challenges and coordinated governance, a holistic approach is essential. We should grasp the principal issues and the main aspect of these issues. Effective measures are needed to address prominent ecological and environmental issues. Meanwhile, it's imperative for departments from different regions to collaborate on setting up goals, controlling pollution of different kinds and sources, and formulating policies. In this way, work will be done in a more systematic, holistic and coordinated way. Third, when it comes to the relationship between natural rehabilitation and artificial restoration, it is essential to stick to the systematic protection and restoration of our mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands and deserts. We should aim at a bigger picture of ecological protection from the mountaintop to the ocean. The methods of natural rehabilitation and artificial restoration are both applicable, and different measures should be taken to deal with different local conditions at different times, in a bid to find the best solution for ecological conservation and restoration. Fourth, the relationship between external pressure and internal motivating power. When it comes to ecological conservation, we must have recourse to the strictest possible institutions and the strictest law enforcement to make external pressure something normal. Meanwhile, it's important to let the internal motivating power stimulate the whole society to participate in ecological conservation and environmental protection. Fifth, the relationship between the dual carbon reduction goals and our independent decisions. We will resolutely attain the dual goals we have promised, but we must make the decisions on our own when it comes to the path, methods, pace, and intensity to achieve them. No one should expect to exert influence on us.

Xi pointed out that we should continue to further the fight against pollution, and to take targeted measures and science-based approaches in accordance with the law. To keep improving the quality of our ecological environment, we should keep doing what we are doing now, and go deep in a bid to keep our skies blue, waters clear and lands pollution-free. Besides, we should accelerate the green and low-carbon transformation of our development modes, maintain green and low-carbon development as the fundamental solution to ecological and environmental issues, accelerate the formation of green production modes and lifestyles, and lay a green foundation for high-quality development. Efforts should be made to improve the diversity, stability, and sustainability of the ecosystem, to protect it in an intensified manner, effectively strengthen the supervision of ecological system conservation and restoration, and expand the path of transforming lucid waters and lush mountains into invaluable assets, so as to leave a beautiful ecological environment for future generations. It is necessary to actively and steadily promote carbon emissions peaking and carbon neutrality, follow the principles of exercising nationwide planning, prioritizing conservation, leveraging the strengths of the government and the market, coordinating efforts on the domestic and international fronts, and guarding against risks, implement carbon emissions peaking, carbon neutrality and the "1+N" policy framework, develop clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient energy sector, and accelerate the construction of a new electric power industry, boosting the national oil and gas security capabilities. We must hold the security bottom line of building a Beautiful China, implement the holistic approach to national security, actively and effectively respond to various risks and challenges, earnestly safeguard ecological security and nuclear and radiation safety, and ensure that the natural environment and conditions on which we depend for survival and development are not threatened or damaged.

Xi Jinping pointed out that the support system for building a Beautiful China needs to improve. We should coordinate resources in various fields, pool forces from all sides, and strike a combination of the rule of law, the market, science and technology, and policies. It is necessary to strengthen the guarantee of the rule of law, advance the revision of laws and regulations related to ecological environment, resources and energy in a coordinated manner, implement the strictest ecological and environmental governance system under which above-ground and underground conservation, land and sea protection are well coordinated and so are actions between regions, fully implement the pollution discharge permit system, improve the natural resource asset management system, and perfect the system for regulating the use of national land space. It is necessary to improve policies for green and low-carbon economic development, and strengthen fiscal support, tax policy support, financial support and pricing policy support. It is imperative to promote a better combination of efficient markets and competent government, and integrate resource and environmental factors such as carbon emission rights, energy use rights, water use rights, and pollutant discharge rights into the overall reform of market-oriented allocation of factors of production, support market transactions such as sales, transfer, mortgage and buying shares, speed up the efforts to build a supervision system on environmental protection credibility, standardize the environmental governance market, so as to boost the sound development of environmental protection industries and environmental services industries. We should strengthen technological support, boost self-reliance and strength in green and low-carbon science and technology, take the response to climate change, the control of new pollutants and others as key fields in our country's basic research and sci-tech innovation, focus on achieving breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields, carry out major actions on sci-tech innovation in ecological conservation, and cultivate a pool of high-level talented scientists in this regard. We should also advance the application of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, build a digital governance system for building a Beautiful China and boost green, intelligent and digital ecological conservation.

Xi stressed that building a Beautiful China is an important target for building a modern socialist country in all respects, and the Party's overall leadership in this regard must be upheld and strengthened. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council will soon make systematic arrangements for promoting the Beautiful China Initiative on all fronts. All regions and departments must strengthen their sense of responsibility and mission, and implement the Party Central Committee's decisions and plans to the letter. Party committees and governments in different localities at all levels must unswervingly shoulder their political responsibility for building a Beautiful China, lose no time in researching and establishing an accountability system for environmental protection covering leading officials of local Party committees and governments, and build a comprehensive and well-knit accountability system which ensures a correspondence between power and responsibility and keeps strictly the rules for reward and punishment. Relevant departments should conscientiously implement the list of responsibilities in terms of ecological conservation, intensify division of duties and strengthen coordination so as to form a strong synergy for joint management in this regard. The people's congresses at all levels and their standing committees should promote the rule of law in ecological conservation and strengthen the implementation and supervision of related laws, and the committees of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at all levels should intensify the efforts to conduct special consultation and democratic oversight in boosting ecological conservation. We should also continue to ensure that central government environmental inspections serve as a powerful tool.

When presiding over the meeting, Li Qiang noted that General Secretary Xi Jinping comprehensively summarized in his speech the remarkable achievements China has made in ecological conservation, especially the historic, transitional and holistic changes in this regard. Xi also made an in-depth analysis of the current situation in promoting ecological conservation, expounded upon the key relationships in advancing the ecological conservation on the new journey, and systematically developed strategic plans of building a Beautiful China in an all-round way. All these provide us with a compass on how to advance the environmental protection and ecological conservation. We should thoroughly study, understand and act in accordance with the gist of General Secretary Xi's speech, understand the significance of the establishment of both Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, remain committed to upholding Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and the Party Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership. It is essential to combine theoretical study programs with implementing the gist of this meeting and further motivate the public to be involved in environmental protection so as to make solid progress in ecological conservation and accelerate the building of a Beautiful China.

Ding Xuexiang in his concluding remarks noted that we should further study and implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and the gist of General Secretary Xi's speech, firmly shoulder the political responsibility of building a Beautiful China under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, especially his thought on ecological conservation so as to speed up the country's modernization featuring harmony between humanity and nature. We should remain committed to advancing the critical battle against pollution so as to achieve the continuous improvement in ecological environment. Green and low-carbon development should be considered as a fundamental way to accelerate the formation of the space layout, industrial structure, way of production and lifestyle that is conducive to conserving resources and protecting the environment. We should adhere to the notion of harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature and step up efforts in ecological conservation and restoration. We should improve supervision and regulation of ecosystem protection and restoration. We should work actively and prudently toward the goals of carbon emissions peaking and carbon neutrality and make solid progress in energy transition to being green and low-carbon in line with the principle of building the new before discarding the old. We should be well prepared for worst-case scenarios, and manage and control potential risks in the ecological environment on a regular basis to lay a solid foundation of ecological security for building a Beautiful China. Environmental inspections and supervision of law enforcement in this regard must be strict to crack down on illegal activities in ecological conservation and environmental protection. All regions, departments and units must strengthen organizational leadership, strictly position responsibilities, and strengthen support for concrete and effective implementation of the CPC Central Committee's decisions and plans.

Leading officials from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance, as well as leading officials from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Zhejiang Province, Hubei Province, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region delivered speeches.

Members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, members of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, relevant leading members of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, state councilors, president of the Supreme People's Court, procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and relevant leading members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference attended the meeting.

The meeting was held via video and telephone. Also present were leading officials from different provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities, cities specifically designated in the state plan, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, leading officials from relevant central Party and government departments, people's organizations, military units, as well as leading officials from some financial institutions and enterprises under the direct auspices of the central government. 


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