Strategy for sustainable development
China has a large population and limited resources. Ever since the policy of reform and opening up was initiated, the Party Central Committee and the State Council have been attaching great importance to the issue of sustainable development. China's Agenda 21 adopted by the State Council in March 1994 reconfirmed the imperative to promote sustainable development. A program of action on sustainable development in the early 21st century unveiled by the State Council in early 2003 outlined sustainable development goals, areas of focus and measures to achieve these goals in the following 10 to 20 years. Specific sustainable development measures were also proposed at the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th CPC national congresses. A sustainable development strategy was identified in the report to the 19th CPC National Congress as one of the seven strategies for realizing the goal of building a moderately prosperous society.
Underpinning this strategy is the concept of coordination and interaction between social, economic, demographic and environmental progresses. The strategy covers ecological, economic and social sustainability. It promotes economic development while protecting natural resources and the environment. It aims to improve the wellbeing of the people, and to ensure that the needs of the present generation are met without compromising the chance and potential of future generations.
The strategy is informed by a people-centered approach, a vision for harmony between man and nature, and the need for eco-friendly economic development. Science and technology and institutional reform will play a critical role in improving the wellbeing of the people. We must never falter in our efforts to strike a balance between economic, social, demographic, resource and environmental considerations, while strengthening China's composite national strength and competitiveness.
By placing the sustainable development strategy in a new context, the report to the 19th CPC National Congress outlined for the first time the goal of building a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful. Environmental protection has thus become an important element of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.