Minister Li Ganjie met with Madame Elisabeth Köstinger, Austrian Federal Minister of Sustainability and Tourism, in Beijing on Apr. 9. The two sides had in-depth exchanges on the bilateral ecological and environmental cooperation and the reforms in China’s ecological and environmental arena.
Li extended warm welcome to Madame Köstinger and her delegation. Then he said ecological and environmental protection is one of the key areas of bilateral cooperation, according to the Joint Statement of China and Austria on Establishing a Friendly and Strategic Partnership, which was announced by the two sides on Sunday. He hoped that the two sides would build on previous cooperation and continue to deepen cooperation in this sector.
The 19th National Congress of the CPC declared that the Socialism with Chinese characteristics has ushered in a new era and China’s ecological and environmental protection has entered a new phase, said Li. The Chinese Government has proposed to put up a good fight against pollution by the year 2020. Therefore, for now and for a period of time to come, China will strive to win the defense battle for the blue skies, put up a good fight for clean waters, and make solid progress in defending the untainted soils. The Chinese Government has also established the new Ministry of Ecology and Environment by integrating all of the functions of the former MEP and some functions of six other line departments. The significant institutional reform has put together the pollution control and ecological conservation functions which were scattered in multiple departments, which makes the environmental governance system to be more science-based and reasonable, and helps solve some chronic problems that we have always wanted to solve.
The notable achievements China has witnessed in the ecological and environmental protection areas over the past few years are a result of our own endeavors, and the state-of-art concepts and mature technologies that we have learned from other countries with an increasingly open attitude, commented Li. With new responsibilities and missions on our shoulder, we would like to continue to strengthen international cooperation, move forward with the ecological and environmental protection and sustainable development cause in China, and work to implement the initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping on building a community of shared future for mankind and building a clean and beautiful world.
Madame Köstinger spoke highly of China’s achievements in ecological and environmental protection as well as its positions and actions on addressing climate change. She fully recognized the outcomes from the bilateral cooperation in the environmental sector, and reiterated her willingness to deepen bilateral cooperation and take the implementation of the Paris Agreement and global environmental governance up to a new level.
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