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China's Ningxia achieves major progress in ecological protection

Source: Xinhua Updated: 2024-05-21


Provincial officials of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region attend a press conference in Beijing, capital of China, May 20, 2024. [Xinhua/Jin Liangkuai]

BEIJING -- Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region has prioritized ecological protection in its pursuit of high-quality development, achieving advancements in water conservation and desertification control, among other areas, according to a press conference held in Beijing on Monday.

Ningxia is located in arid and semi-arid regions, with its per capita water resources significantly lower than the national average.

"Water resources have always been valued as a core element in Ningxia's development," said Zhang Yupu, chairman of the autonomous region, noting that Ningxia has intensified efforts to promote water conservation.

Official data showed that by the end of 2023, all prefecture-level cities in Ningxia achieved the national standards for water-saving cities. Moreover, the goals concerning water consumption per 10,000 yuan (about 1,408 U.S. dollars) of gross domestic product (GDP) and per 10,000 yuan of value-added industrial output for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period have been achieved ahead of schedule.

Ningxia has also made remarkable progress in preventing and controlling desertification. The treatment of 8.2 million mu (546,667 hectares) of desertified areas, originally planned for completion by 2030, is now expected to be finished three years ahead of schedule, Zhang said.

Ningxia's GDP expanded 5.8 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2024, with the growth rate remaining among the top 10 in the country for eight consecutive quarters, according to the press conference.