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Jiangxi firmly focused on sustainable expansion

By WANG JIAN in Nanchang and YANG ZEKUN in Beijing CHINA DAILY Updated: 2022-07-16
A river surrounds a village in Huichang county, Jiangxi province. [Photo by ZHU HAIPENG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

The eastern province of Jiangxi, known as the "cradle of the Chinese revolution", has managed to strike a balance between economic growth and environmental protection, and more efforts will be made to make the province even greener, senior officials said on Friday.

Over the past 10 years, the province's GDP grew at an average annual rate of 8.4 percent, and its ranking based on GDP rose from 19th in 2012 to 15th in 2021 among all provincial-level regions in the country. The growth rate of major economic indicators remains high, according to Yi Lianhong, secretary of the Jiangxi Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, the top official of the province.

While aiming for relatively rapid economic growth, the province has also prioritized environmental protection with its forest coverage rate reaching 63.1 percent, Yi said at a news conference held in the provincial capital Nanchang. The country's average forest coverage rate stood at 23 percent in 2021.

Last year, Jiangxi residents enjoyed good air for about 350 days, and 95.5 percent of bodies of water in the province were rated of good quality, according to official data.

Ye Jianchun, governor of Jiangxi, also said on Friday that the province is deepening the development of national pilot zones for ecological conservation, and it is among the first batch of regions to formulate a provincial-level ecological restoration plan for territorial space and has formed a comprehensive supervisory system for the protection and restoration of mountains, rivers, forests, farmland, lakes and grasslands.

"We'll focus on improving the efficiency of ecological governance, resolve problems revealed by central inspections of ecological and environmental protection, and prevent problems from recurring," Ye said.

The optimization of energy, industrial and transportation structures will be accelerated in the province, and the peaking of carbon emissions is expected to be achieved first in the steel and nonferrous industries, Ye said, adding that projects with low emissions and low energy consumption will be promoted, along with developing a circular and low-carbon economy model.

"We will continue to improve the ecological protection compensation mechanism and take other measures to benefit the public while protecting the environment," he said.

Yi, the Party secretary, also said that the Party committee of Jiangxi and the provincial government have actively promoted the people's well-being over the past decade.

All 25 previously poverty-stricken counties and 3,058 poverty-stricken villages in the province had been lifted out of absolute poverty, and the per capita disposable income of residents has doubled from 2010, according to official data.

"In the past 10 years, Jiangxi has spent more than 3.9 trillion yuan ($577 billion) on people's livelihoods, accounting for about 80 percent of total fiscal expenditure," Ye said.

He said that Jiangxi is consolidating its achievements in poverty alleviation and implementing a rural vitalization strategy. The government has also improved dynamic monitoring and support mechanisms to prevent people from sliding back into poverty.

"We've focused on increasing farmer incomes in previously poverty-stricken areas and vigorously developing industries with distinctive advantages that create more jobs," he added.