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China Launches Afforestation Campaign in West Region

The Chinese government on Wednesday launched a greening campaign in its vast west region where the ecological environment is deteriorating.

Jia Qinglin, honorary chairman of the Green China Fund, said afforestation and improving the ecological environment were a major basis for China's sustainable socioeconomic development.

The environment in the west region had improved thanks to projects such as returning cultivated land to forest and grazing land to grassland, he said.

But more arduous efforts were needed to enhance environmental protection in the long run, said Jia, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Political Bureau and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The campaign will focus on preventing soil erosion, deforestation and poverty reduction and fund-raising.

A Guangdong timber company donated 10 million yuan (US$1.25 million) and China National Tobacco Corp. seven million yuan (US$150,000) respectively to the campaign at the ceremony.

(Xinhua News Agency September 28, 2006)

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