(Image: Philip Roeland)
Xi Jinping announces new bureaus to protect natural resources at Party Congress, reports Liu Qin
Deng Xiaoping is remembered as the architect of China’s market reform era and “opening up”. Emerging from the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) Congress, it looks as if Xi Jinping intends to be remembered as the architect of China’s “ecological civilisation” – the Party’s long term vision of a sustainable China.
On October 19, Xi gave a speech lasting three and a half hours to the Congress in which he said that building an ecological civilisation is necessary for the continued development of the Chinese people.
“The damage that humanity does to nature will ultimately harm humanity itself – this is an unavoidable rule,” said President Xi.
Such strength of language is rarely seen at these high-level events and demonstrates the importance of ecological civilisation in Xi’s plans to build a “beautiful China.”
It accompanied a landmark announcement that China will set up a new body to take ownership of China’s “natural resource assets” and oversee governmental bodies with responsibility for managing the country’s “natural environment.”
This has been interpreted as a move by central government to take powers from local officials over land usage, including control of mineral resources, waterways, forests, mountains, grasslands, deserts, oceans, and wetlands.