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Protection of environment opens doors for cooperation

Hou Liqiang
Updated: Apr 21,2021 09:34 AM    China Daily

China and Central and Eastern European countries pledged to beef up collaboration on green development and environmental protection as they inaugurated a year of cooperation in Beijing on April 20. 

As green development becomes a trend around the world, environmental protection has increasingly become a topic of cooperation between China and CEE countries, Sun Jinlong, Party chief of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, told the inauguration ceremony.

"While addressing the China-CEEC Summit in February, President Xi Jinping pointed out that we need to promote green development and take the China-CEEC Year of Green Development and Environmental Protection as an opportunity to deepen exchange and cooperation in green economy, clean energy and other related areas," he said.

That offered direction and injected strong momentum into environmental cooperation between China and CEE countries, Sun said.

He made a series of proposals to strengthen environmental cooperation between the two sides.

Aside from offering support for the construction of an environmental cooperation mechanism and the holding of ministerial-level conferences, they should encourage governments, research institutions and enterprises to conduct in-depth exchanges to jointly create new economic growth points, he said.

He also suggested joint support to promote the development of the Belt and Road Initiative International Green Development Coalition and make it play a bigger role in environmental cooperation between China and CEE countries.

Vice-Foreign Minister Qin Gang said the year reflects the common wishes of China and CEE countries.

"In recent years, China has included environmental protection into the overall master plan of China's economic development," he said. "We have listed the coexistence between nature and humankind as part of the basic strategy of Chinese development."

As part of their efforts to promote green development, many CEE countries have unveiled policies to bolster the development of renewable energy, including wind and solar, Qin said.

"With huge development potential, the green industry will surely develop into a golden industry in the future," he said. "We would like to work together with all CEE countries to join the trend of the time and move forward cooperation on environmental protection and green development."

Cooperation between China and CEE countries has come a long way over the past eight years.

"In the view of past achievements of the 17+ 1 cooperation, we feel there is a lot more potential to expand and improve our work," said Vladimir Tomsik, Czech ambassador to China. "One of the areas is the environmental sector, which needs our closest attention and immediate action."

He said that due to global environmental challenges, cooperation on green technologies is inevitable if we hope to enhance environmental protection and climate action, promote green and low carbon technology, and facilitate investment in green infrastructure, financing and trade.

"Let's work together to deliver … a better life and green future for our children," he said.