Xi on building eco-civilization

Several pairs of relations need to be well handled in promoting the construction of ecological civilization.” Ying Xue, on the China Ecological Civilization substack blog, has summarised an important article by Xi Jinping, published on the Qiushi magazine on November 16.

Qiushi is run by the CPC central committee. It publishes articles demonstrating policies and guiding the direction of the party. So, this article of Xi Jinping is guidance on building China’s ecological civilization. Through this article we see how China is going to further promote construction of an ecological civilization. Xi spoke of similar points in July 2023 to a National Conference on Ecological and Environmental Protection.

“Our country still faces structural, fundamental and trendy 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 therefore 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.”

Xi Jinping (July 2023)

The first pair of relations that needs to be well handled is the relations between high-quality development and high-level environment protection.

Xi Jinping wrote that it is a world-wide difficult problem and an eternal issue that the human society is facing in development. The CPC said in the 20th National Congress report that promoting the greening and low-carbonisation of social economic development is the key part of high-quality development. It shows that high-quality development and high-level environmental protection are complementary to each other.

It is necessary to plan development from the perspective of harmonious coexistence between man and nature, take the carrying capacity of resources and the environment as the premise and basis, consciously limit economic activities and human behavior to the limits that natural resources and the ecological environment can bear, and promote development in the green transformation to achieve effective improvement in quality and reasonable growth in quantity.

Xi also said that China will endeavor to build a green, low-carbon circular economic system, accelerate the formation of an industrial structure with high technological content, low resource consumption, and low environmental pollution, significantly improve the degree of economic greenness, effectively reduce the resource and environmental costs of development, and continue to enhance the potential and stamina of development.

The second pair of relations is the relations between focusing on key issues and comprehensive coordination on all aspects.

Xi said ecological environment protection is a systematic project. So while we use key breakthroughs to drive overall work improvement, it is necessary to strengthen target coordination, multi-pollutant control coordination, departmental coordination, regional coordination, and policy coordination, and continuously enhance the systematicness, integrity, and coordination of all work. It is necessary to make overall plans, and to promote coordination between the local and the overall situation, treat the symptoms and root causes, and comprehensively consider the current and the long-term targets in plans.

He pointed out that currently ,China will focus on anti-pollution while promoting all-round, all-region, all-process ecological civilization construction.

The third pair of relations is the relations between natural recovery and artificial restoration.

To heal the damage caused by humans to nature, we must first fully respect and comply with nature, give nature enough time and space to recuperate, and rely on the power of nature to restore the balance of the ecosystem. This is why we should adhere to natural recovery first. Due to the limitations of natural recovery, we should combine natural recovery and artificial restoration and find the best solution for ecological protection and restoration.

The fourth pair of relations is the relations between external constraints and endogenous power.

To prevent excessive demands and wanton destruction, strong external constraints are indispensable. But only when everyone takes action and fulfills their responsibilities, and stimulates the endogenous motivation of the whole society to jointly protect the ecological environment, can the blue sky, green mountains and green waters of China last forever.

The fifth pair of relations is the relations between fulfilling commitment and willful action in reaching the goals of carbon peak and carbon neutral.

Marching toward the goals of carbon peak and carbon neutral is a major strategic decision made by the CPC Central Committee after careful consideration. It is our solemn commitment to the international community as well. This is not what others ask us to do, but what we ourselves must do. However, the path and method, rhythm and intensity to achieve these goals should and must be decided by ourselves and will never be influenced by others.

Source: Ying Xue Substack – China Ecological Civilization, Nov 23, 2023.

See also: China Daily, 2023-07-19. https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202307/19/WS64b7d62ca31035260b817596.html