China’s green contribution benefits the world economically

By Liu Lulu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/18 22:53:39

Beijing is set to record its biggest improvements in air quality in at least nine years based on average concentration levels of hazardous breathable particles known as PM2.5, according to Reuters. Beijing's victory over smog stands in sharp contrast to New Delhi, where years of governmental efforts only resulted in worse air. Having attained air quality targets in only five years after the country declared war against pollution - cutting PM2.5 concentrations by around 15.8 percent by the end of 2017, China's efficiency astounds the world, as developed countries, such as Britain and the US, took much longer to tackle smog in their history.

China's political system, known for its efficiency, is the key to its triumph over pollution. The country is expected to see tougher curbs on smog in following years. The first session of the 13th National People's Congress approved the reform plan to establish a ministry of ecological environment Saturday, and the Ministry of Environmental Protection will be dismantled.

The completely new state organ, absorbing the duties of compiling and implementing ecological policies, monitoring river, marine and soil pollution as well as regulating nuclear and radiation safety in other departments and ministries, is expected to be more effective and efficient in environmental protection.

The establishment of the ministry will strengthen the central government's executive power. Compared with other major powers, efficiency is an outstanding advantage of China's political system. This is the fundamental reason for the country's impressive achievements in pollution alleviation, the rapid growth of its economy and the staggering speed of its rise.

However, some Westerners are skeptical about China's political system. Such prejudices can only be gradually dispelled by China's future development, especially its low-carbon growth. China's high efficiency in pollution control will eventually help the world understand the superiority of the country's political system.

Despite the fact that Beijing has turned the corner in its battle against smog, it is still too early to celebrate as China's average air quality is still worse than World Health Organization recommendations. Challenges remain. For instance, as the government advocates the switch from using coal to natural gas, soaring gas prices may lead some poverty-stricken residents to freeze in winter. Slashing pollution may also slow the country's industrial production.

Striking a balance between economic growth and environmental protection is essential for China in the next phase of development.

During this process, the country must be confident and stick to its political system, and exploit its advantage of strong executive power to the full so as to realize leapfrog development in environmental protection, which will make both ecological and economic contributions to the world.

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