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President Xi plants trees, urges forestry development

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Xinhua

04-05-2016 19:24 BJT

Full coverage: China’s Leaders

BEIJING, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping urged development of the country's forestry while attending a voluntary tree planting in Beijing on Tuesday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) walks with pupils after a tree-planting event in Xihongmen Township of Daxing District in Beijing, capital of China, April 5, 2016. Top leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli attended a voluntary tree-planting in Beijing on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) walks with pupils after a tree-planting event in Xihongmen Township of Daxing District in Beijing, capital of China, April 5, 2016. Top leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli attended a voluntary tree-planting in Beijing on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, visited an afforestation site in Beijing's Daxing District and planted six saplings of different varieties at the site.

Other top leaders, including Premier Li Keqiang as well as Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli, also attended the event.

Noting that the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) marks an important stage in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and in China's ecological protection drive, the president stressed forestry development as a significant measure to fulfill these goals.

He called on officials at all levels to take the lead in voluntary tree planting campaigns to promote new development concepts with their own practices.

Also, he called for proper management of planted trees to make people's living environment greener and more beautiful.

The president called for an altruistic and down-to-earth spirit for such activities, citing the Chinese proverb "people plant trees so their offspring can enjoy the shade."

Situated in Xihongmen township in Beijing's southern Daxing District, the greens where the top leaders planted trees used to be a venue for logistic inventory and other low-end industries.

Thanks to the strategy of coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei which requires the capital city to eschew its non-capital functions, the place has been reshaped into a park following economic restructuring.

Xi told officials, volunteers and school children present that Mao Zedong issued the call of "greening the country" 60 years ago, and the National People's Congress began the tree planting campaign 35 years ago at the behest of Deng Xiaoping.

Over the years, China's forests have continued to grow at the fastest pace in the world this century, Xi noted.

The president also stressed the environmental protection drive. He added, all tasks under the ecological protection drive, not limited to tree planting, need to be carried out well with widespread public participation.

China will also promote afforestation via multi-lateral cooperation mechanism, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, so as to cope with global challenges, such as climate change, and to contribute its due share to global ecological security, Xi said.

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