On May 28, Zhou Shengxian, secretary of MEP leading Party members' group and minister of MEP, presided over an enlarged meeting of the ministerial leading Party members' group to convey the important speech delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping during the sixth group study session of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee. Zhou emphasized that, based on actual situation, we shall carry out in-depth study and practically align ourselves with Xi's important speech. By giving prominence to key points and learning by doing, we shall strive to create a sound working and living environment for the people.
Zhou Shengxian indicated that, the important speech made by General Secretary Xi Jinping during the sixth group study session of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee not only shows a deep sense of history, but also closely integrates with the current circumstances faced by China's economic and social development, therefore it charts the course for vigorously promoting ecological progress. The Speech, at the strategic height of fully developing socialism with Chinese characteristics, has profoundly expounded the significance and urgency of strengthening the building of ecological civilization and put forward a series of new ideas, perceptions and requirements, putting new and strong impetus on finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and realizing the dream of China.
According to Zhou, General Secretary Xi Jinping has fully affirmed the remarkable achievements of our country's years of environmental work, assigned the overall work of vigorously promoting ecological progress, and stressed the need to pay close attention to environmental issues. The speech fully reflects our Party's strong will and determination. We shall, based on the actual situation, conscientiously study and acquire a profound understanding of the speech, as well as effectively grasp its essence. While studying the speech, we shall deeply interpret it via the following aspects: Firstly, we shall continue to explore the new path to environmental protection. Xi emphasized that we will neither sacrifice the environment for temporary economic growth, nor follow the development path of "treatment after pollution". The old course of "treatment after pollution" and "sacrificing the environment for economic growth", which had been adopted by developed countries, leads to nowhere in China. We can neither afford nor have the conditions and potential to follow it. Some regions in China had isolated economic development from environmental protection, even repeated the mistake of "treatment after pollution", resulting in paying too high a price for environmental destruction. This has reminded us that, rather than repeating the old way, we must explore a new path to environmental protection featuring low cost, high benefits, low emission and sustainability. In recent years, we have actively explored new methods for environmental protection, and made remarkable achievements. However, in the face of complicated and arduous environmental issues, we still need to make unremitting exploration on new concepts, new ideas and new measures to address these issues, so that the environmental damage caused by economic and social activities can be minimized and economic, social and environmental benefits can all be achieved.
Secondly, as clearly pointed out by the General Secretary, we shall remain committed to the principle of giving high priority to environmental protection. The introduction of this principle fully reveals the Party's deepened understanding of the law of nature as well as the law of economic and social development, and better understanding of the relationship between development and environmental protection. Giving high priority to environmental protection is an inevitable requirement for current economic and social development. It indicates a major shift in our perception of development, and is conducive to fundamentally ease the pressure on the eco-environment. We must adhere to this principle, effectively place environmental protection in a more prominent position. We shall not only pay attention to end-of-pipe treatment, but also emphasize pollution prevention at sources. While solving more long-standing problems, we shall not incur any new problems. We shall follow a strict and tight environmental policy, protecting the sound ecological systems and allowing rehabilitation of overburdened ecological systems.
Thirdly, we shall set and strictly observe an ecological "red line". Xi emphasized that we shall firmly establish the concept of the ecological "red line", strictly implement the functional zoning strategy, and draw and rigorously observe the ecological "red line". No one is allowed to overstep the bottom line regarding ecological and environmental protection issues. Otherwise punishment should be applied. This practice is the Party's latest predication and strategic disposition regarding environmental work. It is a new and higher requirement for environmental protection. It is also a sufficient affirmation for our years of continuing exploration of important measures of drawing the ecological "red line" and implementing the environment function zoning. The set-up and strict observance of an ecological "red line" is of great significance in maintaining national eco-safety, optimizing ecological security pattern, facilitating sustained and sound economic and social development and promoting ecological progress. Together with the implementation of the National Major Plan for Major Function Zoning and the Opinions of the State Council on Strengthening Major Environmental Protection Work, we shall, based on the existing work, lose no time in conducting research and discussion to formulate a complete and mature plan on defining the ecological "red line".
Fourthly, we shall focus on solving serious environmental problems that harm people's health. Xi stressed that a sound eco-environment is the basic foundation for the sustainable development of humans and society. With the economic development and the rise of the people's living standard, environmental issues are often the most likely to cause public dissatisfaction. Environmental protection and control should focus on serious environmental problems that harm people's health and we will strengthen prevention and control of water, air and soil pollution. In accordance with the requirements of the General Secretary, we must resolve to intensify efforts to address serious environmental problems that damage and affect public health. We should get prepared for a tenacious battle as well as a protracted war in order to achieve actual results and give the people hope.
Fifthly, we shall accelerate the perfection of the system for promoting ecological progress. Xi pointed out that the protection of eco-environment must rely on the system and rule of law. We should completely change the old concept of making GDP the only measure of growth, place the eco-environment at an outstanding place within the evaluation system of economic and social development, establish target indicator system, evaluation methods and reward and punishment mechanisms in keeping with the need of promoting ecological progress, as well as significantly increase the weight of environmental index. Xi also seriously urged the establishment of accountability mechanism. Decision-makers, who made rash decisions regardless of the eco-environment and resulted in serious consequences, shall be held accountable and shall be held accountable for a lifetime. The enlightening and sobering speech by the General Secretary, reflects the sense of high responsibility of our Party and government to the people and the future generations. MEP has conducted research on the target indicator and evaluation systems for building ecological civilization for more than two years. Based on in-depth investigation and research, we should speed up the revision and improvement of these two systems for an early implementation, and make them guide, regulate, motivate, serve and protect the building of ecological civilization.
Zhou Shengxian emphasized that, by earnestly studying and implementing the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's speech, we should be fully aware of the urgency and difficulty of environmental protection and pollution control as well as the significance and necessity of enhancing the building of ecological civilization. We shall stress the key points, learn by doing and strive to do a good job in controlling environmental pollution and creating a sound eco-environment. We shall firstly speed up the preparation for the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Air Pollution and team up with related departments to complete the draft work. Secondly, we shall organize the preparation for formulating plans on water pollution prevention and control as well as comprehensive treatment of rural environment. Thirdly, we shall deepen the reform of administrative examination and approval system in our sector, further clean up the items subject to administrative examination and approval, as well as reduce and decentralize certain administrative examination and approval items. Fourthly, we shall focus on solving outstanding environmental problems harmful to public health, giving priority to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), drinking water, soil, heavy metals, chemicals and other prominent environmental issues. Fifthly, we shall improve laws and regulations related to environmental protection. We will assist NPC in amending the Environmental Protection Law and lose no time in pushing forward the revision of the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution and other laws and regulations. Finally, we shall strengthen management and supervision, enhance routine supervision and law enforcement inspection, and seriously handle environmental pollution and ecological damage incidents that arouse strong public complaint.
Vice Ministers of MEP Pan Yue, Wu Xiaoqing, Zhou Jian, Li Ganjie and Zhai Qing, head of discipline inspection group Zhou Ying, member of the leading Party members' group He Jie, Chief Engineer Wan Bentai and Chief Engineer on Nuclear Safety Liu Hua participated in the meeting and shared their learning experience.
Officials in charge of all departments from the Ministry, its dispatched agencies and its affiliates also sit in the meeting.
(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)