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Embassy Spokesperson's letter to the Guardian:China's eco projects keep "roof of the world" pure and beautiful

Ms. Zeng Rong, Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, recently wrote a letter to the Guardian refuting an article it carried on the so-called environmental crisis in Tibet. The Guardian online published part of the letter on 3 September 2017. The following is the full text of the Spokesperson's letter:

The article on the so-called "environmental crisis" in Tibet, published on The Guardian website on August 7, was full of sensational and misleading remarks. I hope to provide The Guardian readers with a more comprehensive and objective briefing about development and environmental protection in Tibet.

After 60 years of development, Tibet has bidden farewell to the poor and backward, closed and stagnant feudal serfdom, and has made remarkable progress. The economy has grown by leaps and bounds, and the people's living standard has been greatly improved. Social undertakings such as education, science and technology and health have developed rapidly, and the traditional culture has been fully restored, preserved and promoted. Demographically, ethnic Tibetans constitute the majority and continue to be the main beneficiary of the economic development of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The Chinese government has made it a principle that economic development should not be pursued at the expense of the environment. The snow-capped Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is designated as an area for ecological preservation, where environmental protection is the bottom line, the lifeline and the “red line” for any development policy. China adheres to the strategy of sustainable development which means that policies for environmental protection and economic development are formulated and implemented in close coordination.

In recent years, the Tibet Autonomous Region has strictly followed the principle of “keeping development and protection policies in tandem” and has given priority to protection of the ecological environment all along. Its persistent efforts to strengthen ecological conservation and environmental protection have led to remarkable outcomes. By the end of 2016, 47 nature reserves had been established in Tibet, covering a total area of 412.2 thousand square kilometers and accounting for 34.35% of the autonomous region’s total land area. In addition, 22 ecological protection zones had been set up. The region’s environmental communique 2016 records that most areas in Tibet remain in their pristine state, and the environmental quality remains good.

In order to minimize the impact of global warming on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and achieve sustainable development locally, China has invested heavily in the building of the ecological security shield for the “roof of the world” and will continue to do so. Over 10 billion RMB yuan have been budgeted for the period from 2008 to 2030 to fund projects of natural grassland and wildlife protection, soil conservation, geological disaster prevention and control, monitoring and supervision capacity building and technology support. The central and local government as well as the people living on the plateau will keep up their good work to improve the system of conservation, secure the ecological shield and build their beautiful home.


Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom

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