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Premier Stresses Ecological System in Gansu

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has urged the once impoverished northwestern Gansu Province to continue developing industries with local features while ensuring the safety of local ecological system.

Wen said during his inspection tour to the province from Saturday to Sunday that local companies should take advantage of the valuable resources, such as medicinal herbs and mineral mines, and use technologies to improve energy efficiency and sustainable use of resources.

When visiting Dingxi City of east Gansu, Wen said the place had become better every time he visited and there were good prospects for farmers' lives.

"It is still the most deprived place in the country as many farmers make less than 1,200 yuan (US$176) a year," he said.

However, Wen said, "The road is better; children have no problem going to school; medical insurance is there and we will work on the old-age insurance scheme. We also have a water project that will hopefully solve the problem of water shortage."

Wen urged the Lanzhou Chemical Company of the China National Petroleum Corporation, the largest oil refinery in China's west region, to reduce energy consumption, achieve technological breakthroughs, replace backward production facilities, and strictly limit excess capacity.

Wen also voiced his concerns over the ecological challenges in Gansu. He said the biggest challenges are water shortage and desertification, which required greater efforts in sustainable use of surface and underground water and control of sand.

(Xinhua News Agency October 19, 2009)

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