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CPPCC member to push for 14-year advocacy in 2017 Two Sessions


03-09-2017 13:51 BJT

Full coverage: 2017 NPC & CPPCC Sessions

(Source: CGTN)

By CGTN reporter Wu Guoxiu

The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference is a platform for people from different sectors in China to put forward policy proposals. One member of the body has pushed for the same advocacy for 14 years in a row. And he will continue to do so at this year's Two Sessions. Our reporter Wu Guoxiu met CPPCC Standing Committee member Ma Zhiwei to find out why.

It's called China's water tank. Sanjiangyuan, or Three-River Source, is in northwest China's Qinghai province, embracing the headwaters of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers as well as the Lancang River, also known as the Mekong. The water flows through over two-thirds of China's provinces. In 2016, political advisor Ma Zhiwei proposed that the provinces pay Qinghai for protecting the region.

"I got replies from the the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Water Resources. They said they've issued documents, but real implementation still needs time," CPPCC member Ma Zhiwei said.

Ma has been pushing for the protection of the Three-River Source since 2003, when its degradation was particularly serious.

"More than half of the one thousand lakes at the source of the Yellow River dried up in 2003 due to global warming. Overstocking also added to the problem. So we proposed to ensure the region's protection with a compensation mechanism," Ma said.

For years Ma's ideas were met with resistance. In 2011, he proposed building a national park -- a plan the local government opposed for economic reasons. Yet on December 9, 2015, the central government decided to build the Three-River Source National Park as a pilot program.
Ma says he shed tears and couldn't sleep that night.

"I would have been a guilty man in history if the central government didn't adopt the idea. I was once told not to mention the national park concept again at a senior-level meeting. I was criticized for not meeting the standards for party members. I did doubt myself. But after repeated discussions with experts, with the American Yellowstone Park and the Canadians, I thought I was right," Ma said.

Once completed by 2020, the Three-River Source National Park will cover more than 120-thousand square kilometers, over ten times the size of the US Yellowstone National Park.

"We will not focus on large-scale development or tourism. We'll focus on protection to demonstrate the original character of the ecology there. We'll leave the resources for our children," Li Xiaonan, chief of Three-River Source Administration Bureau, said.

This is where the Yellow River, considered the Mother River of China, flows from. Compared with other parts of the river, the water here in Qinghai is clear. Over the last decade, China has seen a lot of progress in protecting the Three River Source region. A national park is being built, but political advisor Ma Zhiwei believes it's not enough, and he will continue to put forward more proposals in Beijing this year.

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