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Legal guarantees for 'Golden Waterway'

Source: China Daily Updated: 2021-03-02


Ships sail through a section of the Xiling Gorge, one of the Three Gorges along the Yangtze River, in Zigui county of Yichang, Central China's Hubei province, Nov 29, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua] 

Many central government departments and local governments organized training courses prior to the Yangtze River Protection Law coming into effect on Monday.

One of the key topics has been to understand the relationship between protecting the ecological environment of the Yangtze River and promoting the high-quality development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. The law is not only an ecological environment protection law, but also a green development promotion law.

The Yangtze River has played an irreplaceable role in the economic and social development of the nation, earning it the title of "The Golden Waterway". Currently the belt covers 11 provincial-level administrative regions, which account for 40 percent of the country's population and GDP.

Of the nine chapters of the new law, there is one specifically on green development, which aims at prompting the regions in the belt to adjust their industrial structures and optimize their industrial layouts for better green development.

It should be noted that development and exploitation need not be in conflict with each other. It is not a case of protecting the environment without developing the economy. On the contrary, to better protect the Yangtze there must be a new path of green development.

Better economic development can make environmental protection more sustainable and more stable. It is necessary to coordinate social and economic development with the protection of the Yangtze River ecosystems.

That strategy is of special importance as 2021 marks the start of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25). The high-quality development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt is of great importance. For example, in Chongqing municipality on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, seven ecological restoration programs, including biological diversity protection, comprehensive mine management, improved greening of the land, are being carried out, bringing both ecological and economic benefits.

The formal implementation of this law will consolidate the institutional foundation and provide legal guarantees for the Yangtze River Economic Belt's realization of protection in development and development in protection.