Guizhou to seek balanced development
Poor province does not want to destroy environment for growth, top official says
Chen Gang, the Party chief of Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, said on Thursday that one of the least developed provinces in China will not sacrifice its environment for economic development.
“Guiyang can’t follow the old ways of Beijing,” said Chen, the former deputy mayor of Beijing, at a news conference on Thursday in China’s capital.
“I should be partly responsible for the traffic jams and pollution in Beijing, especially the Central Business District.”
The news conference previewed the upcoming Eco-Forum Global Annual Conference Guiyang on July 10 to 12. It is China’s only national-level forum that invites experts from all over the world to discuss issues on the environment and sustainable development.
Since his time as a college student in Beijing during the 1980s, Chen said he has experienced how the capital has thrived but also how it has suffered from problems of rapid urbanization.
“It is always easy to say that you want to develop the economy while protecting the environment, but for a mountainous inland province such as Guizhou, it requires great wisdom and determination,” he said. “We are trying to find a way to seek a balance and there is not much time left.”
The per capita GDP of Guizhou, which has a population of 35 million, is the lowest in the country, at 18,700 yuan (roughly $3,100) as of 2012, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
This year’s eco-forum will focus on green urbanization, innovation, and reforms on ecological policymaking and law enforcement.
Zhang Xinsheng, the forum’s secretary-general who is also the president of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, said Guizhou should be an example of China’s achievements in environmental sustainability.
Since the forum began in 2009, it has been devoted to setting up an international platform to draw on the wisdom of talents from a diverse range of fields to further promote the concept of an ecological civilization.
At last year’s forum, President Xi Jinping sent a letter to congratulate the forum. In the letter, he said that building China through environmentally sustainable measures is a key part of the Chinese dream.
Xi also suggested that Guizhou learn from experiences in Switzerland, which has a similar ecological system.
In recent years, the province’s cool climate, sufficient power supply and transportation networks have been seen as advantages for data centers and cloudcomputing projects. The Guiyang government has implemented a series of policies to support these industries.
Alibaba, China’s e-commerce giant, signed a framework agreement with the Guizhou government on April 17 to use the province as its industrial base for the development of cloud-computing and big data.
Zhongguancun Science Park in Guiyang is also looking to attract high-tech companies.