Foreign envoys laud green efforts in Qinghai
A trip to Qinghai province is an opportunity to see the vision set out by President Xi Jinping to develop the province into a powerhouse for China's green development being translated into reality, and to witness the nation's commitments in green transformation. Such were the observations made by foreign envoys and representatives from international organizations to China during their trips to the province in western China this week. The ongoing ecological preservation efforts in Qinghai home to an abundance of biodiversity, China's largest lake, and the source of Asia's three longest rivers epitomize efforts being made by the world's second-largest economy to trail blaze a path for green development and honor its climate commitments, they said. Argentine Ambassador to China Sabino Vaca Narvaja, who traveled to Xining and Haidong in the province from Sunday to Tuesday, was impressed by a sentence pronounced by Xi during his fact-finding trip to Qinghai in 2016, "Protect the environment as we protect our eyes and treat the environment as we treat our own lives." Narvaja said: "Walking around Qinghai, I could see the materialization of these words and the people's efforts to preserve the ecology and achieve sustainable development. Care for ecology is visible, for example, in the afforestation programs that forever changed the face of this province." The Argentine envoy noted that Xi has always highlighted the importance of Qinghai as a source of China's natural and energy resources, "which inspires us to outline a joint roadmap that shows our complementarity and our common vision of the world". "Climate change is a challenge that we must face together and the initiatives of Qinghai province are the source of countless examples of how we can achieve more inclusive and sustainable development," he said. Xi made two fact-finding trips to Qinghai in 2016 and 2021, respectively, underscoring the protection of the province's ecology and environment as a major issue for the nation and the increasingly prominent role of the region in environmental, national, resource and energy security. Chen Gang, the Party secretary of Qinghai, said at the opening of an eco expo in Xining that the ecological status of Qinghai is important and unique as it serves as a crucial ecological security barrier and a major supplier of ecological products for the nation. The province boasts numerous rivers, abundant lakes of various sizes and snow-covered peaks, and ranks near the top in terms of wetland area nationwide. Qinghai's installed capacity of clean energy, including hydropower and solar energy, has reached 42.25 million kilowatts, accounting for 91.6 percent of its overall energy structure and ranking first in the country in this regard. Stephen Kargbo, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization Representative to China, said Qinghai's overwhelming percentage of clean energy in its overall energy structure is something he "never heard of anywhere in the world". "Qinghai can set an example for China and the whole world," he said."The decoupling of growth from environmental destruction is very important. It's still possible to grow, but to grow green." "This is the message that the whole world needs so that even industrialization can be made to be inclusive, can be made to be sustainable, as we can now see such practical examples of in Qinghai." Sergio Cabrera, the Colombian ambassador to China, said what China is doing in Qinghai is very important for the planet. "Because China is a very large country, if it manages to contribute to sustainability and the decarbonization of the planet, the results are going to be very important for the whole world. "China is making great efforts for nature conservation and what we see in Qinghai is very evident," he said. "I believe that the efforts they are making are in the right direction, responding to the directives of President Xi Jinping to protect nature and practice the vision that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets." Bangladeshi Ambassador to China Jashim Uddin said his country is one of the most vulnerable to climate change as the rising sea levels would lead to less land area for the densely populated coastal nation. "China is a global leader (in responding to climate change). From my trip here, I have seen the amazing work China has been doing," he said."I have seen that all parties are very careful to the environment when they are extracting natural resources, which is really exemplary. I thought that this can be replicated in other countries as well." Martha Mavrommati, the ambassador of Cyprus to China, said Qinghai has struck her as one of the exemplary places where human beings live in harmony with nature. She added that ensuring greater biodiversity and responding to the climate crisis cannot be done only by China or only by Cyprus. "This is a global village we live in and we have to all work together closely. We have the COP26, and we have the Paris Agreement and we all have to continue trying our best to save our environment." Dimitri de Boer, regional director for Asia at the environmental law organization ClientEarth, highlighted the law on ecological conservation on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which was adopted by China's top legislature in April and is set to take effect in September, as "extremely important". "It is China's first law that really, really integrates climate change into the whole law. And it will strengthen the monitoring and disclosure of data and information around climate change," he said. "I think this will greatly strengthen the awareness of all people in China about climate change and the risks that it brings and also how to act upon that," he said. He noted that Qinghai's strategic significance lies not only in its position as the sources of the three largest rivers in China, but also in its rich reserves of renewable energy resources, including suitable places for solar and wind power deployment. "That is why it is very critical in China's low-carbon transition and the climate transition of China. What we're seeing is a big focus now on the renewable energy deployment, not just for the province but also for the rest of China, he said.