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60,000 Alternative-energy Vehicles to Hit Roads

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About 60,000 alternative-fuel vehicles are expected to be on China's roads by 2012 as part of the efforts to save energy and reduce emissions, Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang said on Thursday.

Most of these new vehicles would be used for public transport, Wan told an international forum on energy conservation and new energy development.

Also, large-scale use of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting would be promoted in dozens of big Chinese cities and the use of solar and wind energy would be accelerated, Wang said.

He said that China, as a large developing country undergoing rapid industrialization, faced the pressures of promoting growth while saving resources and protecting the environment. He said China had made saving energy, reducing emissions and using renewable energy sources a strategic plan to achieve sustainable development.

China would use various means to provide financial support to small and medium-sized companies involved in energy conservation and environmental protection. It would also give tax benefits and direct subsidies to the production, sale and use of alternative-energy vehicles and "green" home appliances, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2009)