Participating in Beijing’s tree planting activity on March 30, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, President of the People’s Republic of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, said that he had participated in such activities for 10 consecutive years. “I want to do my bit for the Beautiful China initiative, and also to sow the seeds of ecological conservation in the entire society, among the Chinese youth in particular,” he stressed. Xi said that he intends to call on all Chinese people to act as participators and promoters in the endeavor for ecological conservation. “With perseverance and accumulated efforts, we will be able to make our country’s sky bluer, mountains lusher, waters clearer and the environment more beautiful,” he said.
Spring has come and everything takes on a fresh look. At 10:30 in the morning, Party and state leaders including Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan arrived at a tree planting site in Huangcun Town, Beijing’s Daxing District, and joined volunteers from the capital city to plant trees.
The trees were planted in an urban recreation park in the southern district, which covers an area of about 1,500 mu (100 hectares). The site was originally a reservoir mudflat, but is now designed as an urban park. Upon completion, it will become an ecological space for the residents nearby to relax and get close to nature.
Seeing the general secretary’s arrival, those who were planting trees greeted him warmly. Xi waved to them, picked up a shovel and walked to the planting site. Then he got down to work along with the leading officials of the Beijing Municipality and the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, as well as officials, members of the public and Young Pioneers from the capital.
Digging holes with a shovel, building soil berms, watering the trees……Xi planted saplings of Chinese pine, flowering peach, magnolia, crab apple and Chinese ash. While working on the trees, he inquired about the children’s study and living conditions, telling them to attain a well-rounded development in terms of moral grounding, intellectual and physical ability, aesthetic sensibility, and work skills. In particular, the role of work skills cannot be underestimated. Xi told them to cultivate the awareness of work, environmental protection and thriftiness from childhood, not to shy away from good deeds no matter how small they seem, and work hard step by step to become the talent needed by the Party and the people. In an atmosphere full of liveliness and vigor, all the participants worked together and had cordial exchanges.
During the break, Xi stressed to all on the site that to achieve sustainable development of the Chinese nation has always remained a goal of ours. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Party has united and led the people from all ethnic groups in nationwide greening programs, made historic achievements and created impressive ecological miracles. Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, adhering to the principle that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, we have taken comprehensive steps to advance ecological conservation, promoted afforestation and improved the urban and rural living conditions. Beautiful China has been becoming a reality. Meanwhile, we must also be aware that protecting and restoring the ecosystem and fundamentally improving the environment cannot be accomplished at one stroke, but still requires consistent and arduous efforts, so we must work hard and long without letup.
Xi noted that forests have the capacity to conserve water, bring in economic benefits, and boost grain production, and now serve well as a carbon sink. Forests and grasslands are of fundamental and strategic significance for our country’s ecological security; when forests and grasslands flourish, the environment thrives. Now China’s ecological conservation endeavors have entered a crucial moment when environment protection is progressing from quantitative to qualitative changes. We must apply the new development philosophy and follow a path of prioritizing ecological conservation and pursuing green development. We will protect and manage our ecosystems involving mountains, rivers, forests, farmland, lakes, grasslands and deserts with a holistic approach, carry out greening programs systematically, and increase both quantity and quality of forest and grassland resources. All these will help consolidate and enhance the carbon absorption capacity of ecosystems, and make greater contributions to global environmental and climate governance as well as achieving China’s modernization featuring harmony between humanity and nature.
Planting trees, protecting forests, and embracing nature are traditional Chinese virtues, Xi stressed. We will carry forward the spirit of Saihanba, a model in afforestation, and continue to launch nationwide initiatives to plant trees. We will create new ways, improve publicity and communication, and carry out tree planting activities in a systematic, economical, and practical manner. Leading officials at all levels should remain committed to greening programs and all other ecological conservation efforts to ensure that our people live on a land of beauty, charm and fortune.
Members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, members of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and State Councilors in Beijing also attended the activity.