Xi: Nat­u­ral re­sources must be safe­guarded

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By AN BAIJIE in Bei­jing an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn Zhang Yaozhong con­trib­uted to this story.

Restrict­ing the ex­ploita­tion of nat­u­ral re­sources in the ecology-frag­ile Qing­hai-Ti­betanPlateau is good fore­co­nomic de­vel­op­ment, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said on Tues­day dur­ing an in­spec­tion tour.

Pro­tect­ing the eco­log­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment of the San­jiangyuan area, known as “China’s wa­ter tower”, is vi­tal for the na­tion’s de­vel­op­ment, Xi said.

The eco­log­i­cal sys­tem is frag­ile in Qing­hai, es­pe­cially in the San­jiangyuan area, where the head­wa­ters of the Yangtze, Yel­low and Lan­cang (known as the Mekong out­side China) rivers are lo­cated.

The area is home to more than 2,200 types of wild plants, 85 an­i­mal species and more than 230 kinds of birds. Since the late 20th cen­tury, the lakes there have shrunk as a re­sult of hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties and over­graz­ing.

Dur­ing a tour of the plateau onMon­day, Xi said eco­log­i­cal pro­tec­tion must be made a top pri­or­ity in ex­ploit­ing nat­u­ral re­sources.

At the Qarhan Salt Lake in Qing­hai prov­ince, he told the lo­cal gov­ern­ment to draw up a proper strat­egy for nat­u­ral re­sources and set an ex­am­ple for the na­tion in cor­rectly ex­ploit­ing them.

Xi vis­ited a potash fer­til­izer com­pany’s yard near the lake, where he was briefed on the firm’s pro­duc­tion, sales and tech­no­log­i­cal up­grad­ing.

On Mon­day af­ter­noon, Xi vis­ited a Ti­betan eth­nic fam­ily in Tang­gula, a town­ship in San­jiangyuan. The vil­lagers pre­sented white hada (silk scarves) to the pres­i­dent to show their re­spect.

Hear­ing that lo­cal peo­ple’s liveli­hoods had been improved with bet­ter hous­ing and home ap­pli­ances, Xi told them they would con­tinue to have happy lives and wished them good health.

Poverty re­lief work has been a prom­i­nent fea­ture of Xi’s do­mes­tic tours.

On Tues­day morn­ing, he vis­ited a newly built vil­lage in Haidong, Qing­hai, where the res­i­dents have just been re­lo­cated from their shanty huts in the re­mote moun­tain­ous re­gion. The huts had no run­ning wa­ter.

In late 2012, dur­ing his first in­spec­tion tour af­ter­be­com­ing gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, he vis­ited a poor vil­lage in He­bei prov­ince and pre­sented the vil­lagers with re­lief ma­te­ri­als such as cook­ing oil, quilts and win­ter coats.

Dur­ing a tour last month of the Ningxia Hui au­ton­o­mous re­gion, an un­der­de­vel­oped area with a high con­cen­tra­tion of eth­nic groups, Xi said: “There are still some 50 mil­lion Chi­nese strug­gling with poverty, and by 2020 they must all be lifted out of poverty. This ismy top con­cern­now.”

Pro­tect­ing the eco­log­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment in the San­jiangyuan area is vi­tal for the na­tion’s de­vel­op­ment, said Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping .

PANG XINGLEI / XINHUA

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping hugs 5-year-old Tseyang Lhamo while vis­it­ing Ti­betan eth­nic vil­lagers in Qing­hai prov­ince on Mon­day.

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