Green development aims for economic growth and social development that is efficient, harmonious and sustainable. It’s a concept pivotal to China’s overall development, and an inevitable choice to achieve sustainable and high-quality development.
In an exclusive interview with CGTN’s Decision Makers, Jin Guowei, vice governor of Liaoning Province, elaborates on the progresses that have been made in ecological preservation and environmental protection in Liaoning. Liaoning province is located in the northeast region of China, bordering the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) across the Yalu River. Liaoning was once part of the country’s old industrial powerhouse and has been eyeing an economic revival in recent years.
Last August, during an inspection tour in Liaoning, President Xi Jinping emphasized that a good environment is a valuable asset for economic growth and social development in northeast China, and it is also what the region can take advantage of in its revitalization drive.
Transformation brings vitality, while green development adds growth momentum. By shifting mindsets, adjusting structures, and controlling pollution, Liaoning is promoting a green and low-carbon transformation in its pattern of production.
In Liaoning, with a focus on key renewable energy sources, there has been a massive push to strengthen energy infrastructure construction. Solid progress is also being made in the construction of green mines, the management of sandy land, the restoration of marine ecosystems, and the construction of the Liao River Estuary Park, and other systematic projects.
Liaoning has a long history of mining. While it has made significant contributions to both national and local economic development, it has also left geological and environmental issues. Liaoning is making steadfast efforts in developing eco-friendly and intelligent mines. The number of eco-friendly mines in the province has increased from 25 in early 2019 to 204 at present. In total, around 15,975.9 acres of flawed mining areas and 11,858.4 acres of operational mining areas have been revamped.
And Liaoning has made great strides in green energy production. It is estimated that the installed capacity of wind and solar power in Liaoning will increase from 14 million kW to more than 37 million kW by 2025, with non-fossil fuel installed capacity accounting for 55 percent, and non-fossil energy power generation accounting for 47.3 percent.
Successive key national and provincial ecological projects have been launched, such as the Three-North Shelterbelt Forest Program, the Central Financial Afforestation Subsidy Project and the Three-Year Initiative for Windbreak, Sand Control and Soil Fixation in Northwest Liaoning. Compared to 2004, the area of sandy lands has shrunk by 0.474 million acres, down by 28 percent.
The safe utilization rate of polluted arable land has also steadily increased, reaching 100 percent for key construction land in 2022. Local government has strengthened pollution source control, completed inspections and supervised rectifications of 88 companies with cadmium and other heavy metals involved in their business operation, and launched eight major projects for soil pollution source control.
Liaoning Province has identified 20 areas with severe air pollution, and has been working on regional joint prevention and control measures to eliminate severe pollution. During the critical periods in spring, Liaoning collaborates with Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces to address the pollution from straw burning. In 2022, Liaoning Province had 329 days of good air quality, roughly 90 percent of the year, up 2.1 percentage points from the previous year.
“A good environment is part of the public’s wellbeing.” This concept put forward by President Xi Jinping has taken root, blossomed and borne fruit in Liaoning.