Beautiful China Initiative given impetus
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This aerial photo taken on Jan 1, 2024 shows the sunrise at a cherry blossom scenic spot in Nanjian Yi autonomous county, Southwest China's Yunnan province. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's central authorities have unveiled a guideline for promoting the Beautiful China Initiative, a top-level development blueprint detailing specific targets for a wide range of sectors for the nation's green and high-quality growth.

Aiming to meet people's increasingly high requirements for an improved environment, the document includes measures to address many of the more pressing challenges amid China's green transition, experts said.

Jointly issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council — the country's Cabinet — the document was made public on Thursday.

The green, low-carbon transformation in key industrial sectors is one of the key features in the guideline.

The country will make concerted efforts to make its industrial sectors more digitalized, intelligent and environmentally sustainable, it said. Measures will be taken to resolutely curb the blind development of smokestack industries with high energy consumption and emissions, it added.

Energy saving and carbon reduction transformations will be accelerated in existing buildings and municipal infrastructure, it stated.

The document includes a series of measures aimed at speeding up green transformation in the transportation sector.

More cargo, for example, will be moved via railways and waterways, it noted. More railway stations, civil airports, ports and logistics parks will be transformed for even greener operations and additional railway lines will be powered by electricity.

The country aims to see 45 percent of its newly added automobiles fueled by new energy by 2027, it continued.

Wan Jun, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, said that with the carrying capacity of its environment and resources still highly pressed, China is confronted with a series of challenges in promoting the Beautiful China Initiative.

Green, low-carbon development offers fundamental solutions to address the country's environmental problems, Wang said, thus indicating why the document attaches great importance to green, low-carbon transformation.

The document stressed that China will make consistent efforts to forge ahead with air pollution controls, vowing to reduce the average concentration of PM2.5 particulate matter across the country to below 28 micrograms per cubic meter by 2027 and aiming to be lower than 25 mcg/cubic meter by 2035.

The average density of PM2.5 in the country's 339 major cities stood at 29 mcg/cubic meter in 2022, said the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

The document also vows to increase the country's forest coverage rate to 26 percent by 2035.

According to National Forestry and Grassland Administration, the country had over 24 percent of its land area covered by forests in 2022.

Wang Jinnan, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the document has been published when China has now entered a new era for socioeconomic development that features accelerated green, low-carbon high-quality transition.

It's an era when the government should strive to provide more high quality ecological services to the public, following the aspirations of the people to live better lives, Wang said.

The guideline said China will work to reform its mechanism to assess and evaluate performance by officials.

The country will hammer out an indicator system for assessing progress made in promoting the Beautiful China Initiative, it noted.

Following the establishment of the system, China will shift to assess and evaluate officials in accordance with progress made in promoting the initiative, instead of progress in pollution control.


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