ㄑ Publicity Department of CPC Central Committee holds press conference on carrying forward the Yan'an spirit and endeavoring to write a new chapter of accelerated growth in the new era

Press conference on 'Shaanxi: Carrying forward Yan'an spirit, endeavoring to write new chapter of accelerated growth in new era' | June 23, 2021

Southern Metropolis Daily:

The ecological environment of Shaanxi province concerns that of China. What progress has been made in following the principle of "lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets" to enhance environmental protection? What measures will be taken in the future? Thank you.

Liu Guozhong:

Thank you. I will answer this question.

We have learned a big lesson in terms of ecological conservation. Since the incident of illegal building of villas in the Qinling Mountains, the whole province has made deep reflections, and bearing in mind what is of vital importance to the country, has prioritized ecological conservation in development. We have mainly made efforts in the following five aspects.

First, protecting the ecological environment in the Qinling Mountains. This includes curbing the five phenomena of illegal building, illegal felling, illegal mining, illegal emissions, and illegal hunting. All the 169 mining rights in the core and major protection areas of the Qinling Mountains have been withdrawn and 63 small hydroelectric stations have been removed. Meanwhile, we have intensified efforts to protect and restore the ecology, determine borders and erect signs, and designate various kinds of conservation areas. The forest rate in the Shaanxi section of the Qinling Mountains has now reached 72.95%, indicating a constantly improving ecological environment. A good news is that Kingdonia uniflora, a national first-level protected plant, dubbed the "natural indicator of excellent ecological environment," has recently been found for the first time below 2,700 meters altitude in the Qinling Mountains. Next, we will continue to consolidate our achievements. We will improve the institutional system for protection which includes regulations, general plans and specialized planning. We will make good use of the information- and grid-based supervision platform. Through consistent efforts, we hope to effectively protect the ecological environment in the Qinling Mountains and bring more tranquility, harmony, and beauty to the area.

Second, strengthening ecological protection in the Yellow River basin. Mr. Zhao has just introduced this point in detail and so I will not repeat it.

Third, intensifying supervision over water sources for the middle route of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project, of which approximately 70% of the water comes from the Han River and the Dan River. We have launched specialized campaigns in the two rivers and improved comprehensive management of the basin. A ten-year fishing ban on the Yangtze River has been enforced, which effectively ensured the water quality of the Han River and the Dan River. We will further step up efforts to ensure clear water for the North.

Fourth, fighting pollution. In keeping our air clean, we have strengthened joint control and prevention of air pollution in the Fenwei Plain. Within five years, 19,000 coal-fired boilers have been renovated or removed, and 270,000 small, poorly-managed, and heavily-polluting enterprises have been rectified their malpractices. The average density of PM2.5 among the 10 cities of Shaanxi province which have administrative districts has decreased by 15% compared with that of 2015. In keeping our water clear, we have implemented the river chief and lake chief system, focusing on major basin areas and black, malodorous water bodies in cities. All the surface water sections subject to national assessment in Shaanxi province have eliminated V-level polluted water. In keeping our soil clean, we have enhanced our efforts to contain agricultural non-point pollution. The use of fertilizer and pesticides has declined by nearly 10% compared with that of 2015. We have outperformed the task of lowering heavy metal emissions in the 13th Five-Year Plan and took the lead in registering all emission permits of fixed pollution sources. For the next step, we will stick to targeted, scientific, and lawful measures in curbing pollution so that the sky will be clear, water clean, and trees lush in Shaanxi province.

Fifth, attaching great importance to carbon peak and neutrality. Shaanxi has a big energy and chemical industry, and consumes a large amount of fossil energy. Implementing the requirements of the CPC Central Committee, we have reappraised and selected the major projects of the 14th Five-Year Plan, cutting 79 projects with high energy consumption and large emissions which cost more than 700 billion yuan in investment. Next, we will speed up efforts to make and implement an action plan for carbon peak and specify tasks for lowering carbon emissions to make new progress. Thank you.

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