22.10.2021 – 02:41
The Yellow River Basin, known as China’s “Mother River” and “Cradle of Chinese Civilization”, has seen remarkable ecological improvements in recent years as the Chinese government attaches increasing importance to maintaining China’s second longest watercourse.
Recalling the importance of the Yellow River as an ecological barrier, economic zone and cultural heritage in China, Chinese President Xi Jinping has reiterated his efforts to protect the environment and develop the river in high quality.
On Wednesday, President Xi toured the Yellow River Estuary in Dongying City, east China’s Shandong Province. He visited an estuary pier, an ecological monitoring center and a national nature reserve in the Yellow River Delta.
“Protecting the Yellow River is vital to the great rejuvenation and sustainable development of the Chinese nation,” said President Xi. This explains why China has made the environmental protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River Basin an important national strategy.
The Yellow River begins in Qinghai Province and flows through nine provinces and autonomous regions before flowing into the Bohai Sea in Shandong.
As an “ecological corridor”, the Yellow River, which connects the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Loess Plateau and the plains in northern China with severe water shortages, plays an important role in improving the ecological environment, combating desertification and water supply .
The 5,464 kilometer long waterway feeds around 12 percent of the Chinese population, irrigates around 15 percent of the arable land, contributes 14 percent to the national GDP and supplies more than 60 cities with water.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Chinese president has visited all provinces and autonomous regions of the river basin and has inspected his concern about China’s “mother river” in less than a year, from August 2019 to June 2020 alone he four times the basin of the Yellow River.
What are the challenges?
During his inspection trips, President Xi pointed out difficulties and problems in protecting the Yellow River, such as the fragile ecological environment, the poor state of water resources and the need to improve the quality of development.
According to Xi, the peace of the Yellow River is of great importance to the stability of China. Although the river has shown no major dangers for many years, Xi has repeatedly urged the nation not to let up in its vigilance.
The natural and geological features of the river have resulted in frequent floods since ancient times. In the past 2,500 years, the Yellow River has broken its dikes more than 1,500 times and changed its course on the lower reaches 26 times.
Due to the brisk industrial activity along the Yellow River, it was named one of the most polluted rivers in the world about 10 years ago, which also led to a deterioration in environmental conditions.
Putting a concept into practice
To cope with the major challenges in the Yellow River basin, the central and local governments along the river have taken a number of measures that exemplify how a national strategy is translated from concept to concrete practice, and at the same time China Show determination to pursue high quality development.
In the past 70 years, China has carried out four large-scale dike projects, built water protection projects, carried out two phases of flood protection projects on the lower reaches of the waterway and completed the standard dyke construction. By 2019, the amount of mud and sand discharged into the Yellow River will be reduced by almost 30 billion tons and the amount of sediment in the lower reaches of the river by 11.2 billion tons.
The high quality development of the Yellow River basin began with the adaptation and remodeling of the old industrial towns on the upper reaches of the river, the development of modern agriculture in the large grain-growing areas and the search for ways to help the impoverished local residents on the river banks.
In addition, the country has established more than 400 wetlands and national parks in the catchment area. The Yellow River Delta National Reserve, which President Xi visited on Wednesday, is one such example.
The approximately 153,000 hectare reserve, more than 70 percent of which consists of wetlands, is an important wintering and resting area for migratory birds, including the endangered species of oriental storks.
In early October, China released a Concept for the Protection and Development of the Yellow River Basin by 2030, which will serve as a guide for policy-making and planning of construction projects in the basin to meet the challenges. The country is also accelerating its legislation to promote environmental conservation and quality development in the Yellow River Basin.
Original content by: CGTN, transmitted by news aktuell