Wednesday, June 11, 2008


China learns lesson for neglecting environment
Consul-General urges developing nations to avoid mistakes made by his country


The Republic of China known for its vast development, has learned its lesson, as far as conserving the environment is concerned. The country which started its open economy policy way back in 1978, is now suffering from the effect of neglecting the importance of environment protection, thus calling on developing countries to act fast before similar destruction is done on their land. This was a simple reminder from the Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Kuching, Xie Fugen, who was in town for an official visit. “We have learned our lesson. We admit that in our effort to boost our economy, we forgot and neglected the importance of conserving and protecting the environment. As a result, today we are paying double for the damages done,” he told the media during a courtesy call on Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong here yesterday. Xie said under the 1978 open economy policy, the China Government had carried out development projects in the east coast area. “We have done well in economy but we lost so much as far as the environment is concerned. We had to spent lots of money to rectify the problem, therefore we are reminding and advising other countries to avoid the mistakes we made,” he said. After seeing the destruction caused to the environment, the China Government has imposed stricter policy to ensure the environment remained protected despite the vast development projects. “We are currently developing the middle, west and northern part of China and have listed environment protection as a top priority. We do not want to repeat the mistakes we have done in the past. Corporate companies are free to do business but they must make sure that the environment is protected,” he said, adding had pollutions on China’s two main river had forced the Government to act fast. “We are already seeing positive results on the river protection policy and hope it can be maintained for generations,” he said. During the meeting, Xie and Liew exchanged views on the business opportunities available in China and Sabah, as well as other issues such as those concerning illegal immigrants and food supplies. “The tourism industry in Sabah is developing very good. I often see a lot of tourists from China whenever I come here for a visit. This is probably due to the many direct flights available from the State to many major cities in China,” he said. he added that the China Government is also currently boosting its Neighbour Friendly Policy and is extending it to Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and The Philippines. Liew, on the other hand, introduced the on-going Sabah Development Corridor, encouraging investors from China to venture into businesses in Sabah. “We welcome any groups wishing to come and visit Sabah and see for themselves potential businesses available here, and we hope to do vice versa to improve and ensure sustainable business links between China and Sabah,” he said. Currently, there are seven China- based companies operating in Sabah, of which six are related to construction while one is a shopping complex.