China to step up drive to create clean technologies

Beijing, September 10 :

China will step up efforts to create profitable, environmentally clean technologies as it tries to meet its goal of doubling economic output per person by 2010, a senior official said today.

“We need to embark on a new type of industrialisation mode to promote development in an environmentally friendly manner,” said vice-premier Zeng Peiyan in a speech to a gathering of business leaders, “We will accelerate scientific and technical pro-gress and promote technological development.”

Zeng’s comments echoed a government development plan issued this year that calls for China to reduce its reliance on polluting, resource-intensive industries and foreign technology by developing skills in fields ranging from nuclear power to software.

Zeng didn’t announce any new initiatives, but affirmed pledges to encourage private research by improving protection for patents and copyrights, an area where China is widely criticised for permitting rampant product piracy. Zeng was speaking at the China Business Summit, an event organised by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF).

The vice-premier, one of China’s top economic officials, said the ruling Communist Party wants to improve ‘economic quality’ by reducing its reliance on polluting industries.

The party’s five-year development plan, issued in February, calls for China to cut energy consumption per unit of economic output by 20 per cent and to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide by 10 per cent before 2010.

But Chinese leaders acknowledge the country is failing to meet its self-imposed targets.