Xi stresses key role of green development
President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, visits the Zhonghuan Industrial Park on Wednesday during an inspection tour in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. XIE HUANCHI/XINHUA
He sets out new vision for growth in Inner Mongolia
President Xi Jinping has outlined a new vision for the development of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, calling for the region to prioritize ecological protection and green development, and strive to write a new chapter of Chinese modernization.
Speaking during a fact-finding trip to Hohhot, the regional capital, on Wednesday and Thursday, Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, elaborated on the need for China to ensure its self-reliance in science and technology and foster a new development paradigm in tackling challenging issues in the science and technology sector.
During the trip, his third to the region since he was elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee in 2012, Xi visited an industrial park that is dedicated to the research and development of semiconductors and solar panels.
Xi told workers that China is making efforts to achieve scientific and technological breakthroughs by enhancing sci-tech self-reliance and fostering a new development pattern. He said that building up domestic economic circulation is aimed at ensuring the normal operation of the national economy "under extreme circumstances", and such efforts do not run counter to its participation in the global economy.
Xi reiterated Beijing's unwavering commitment to pursuing high-level opening-up and win-win global cooperation.
He stressed that moving forward with green development is a path the nation must follow, and encouraged Inner Mongolia to promote the transformation and upgrading of its traditional energy sector, expand the development of green energy and develop itself into a key national energy base.
Xi traveled to Hohhot after inspecting a nature reserve, a forest farm and a water resources monitoring center in Bayannuur on Monday and Tuesday, and he presided over a meeting on stepping up the tackling of desertification.
He was briefed by the region's top officials on their work at a meeting in Hohhot on Thursday. Xi called for the region to further optimize its industrial structure and adopt proactive steps to develop industries with local characteristics.
He encouraged Inner Mongolia, a region with rich reserves of coal, vast expanses of prairies and long borders with Mongolia and Russia, to build on its resources and actively explore new paths for the transformation of energy-rich regions.
The region should play an active part in the Belt and Road Initiative and the development of the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, improve its level of opening-up and develop itself into a key gateway for China's northward opening, he said.
He reemphasized the need for the region to develop into an important ecological shield in northern China, saying that projects such as tackling the sources of sandstorms affecting Beijing and Tianjin and furthering the Three-North Shelter Forest Program should be prioritized.
Xi also laid out requirements for the region to implement the Grain for Green program, initiated in 1999 to increase vegetation cover and prevent soil erosion, and to strengthen the protection of natural forests as well as water and land conservation.
He pointed out that the most challenging tasks facing China as it seeks to promote common prosperity are encountered in some of the nation's border areas and regions populated mainly by ethnic minority groups, adding that the nation will not let such regions lag behind.
It is important to continue to put the people first, give greater priority to guaranteeing public well-being and improving living standards and strengthen weak links so that people of various ethnic groups can truly feel that the common prosperity drive is improving their livelihoods, he said.
Xi highlighted the need to expand channels for job creation and step up pro-employment measures for families that have just shaken off poverty, those under social aid programs, families with zero payrolls and disabled people.
He stressed the importance of improving the multitiered social security system, ramping up social and medical assistance and developing elderly care programs and services.
Xi underscored the significance of forging a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation, saying that all legislation, regulations and policy measures in regions populated by ethnic minority groups should serve the purpose of building up this sense of community.
It is important to coordinate urban and rural planning and the allocation of public services to create better social conditions for all ethnic groups to live, work and study together, he said.
Yuan Hui in Hohhot contributed to this story.