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Thomas Friedman: China needs to bring in "the green cat"

Source: Xinhuanet | 04-20-2007 17:05

BOAO, Hainan Province, April 20 (Xinhua) -- China needs to bring in the "the green cat" if the country wants to meet the target of sustainable development, according to Thomas Friedman, foreign affairs columnist of the New York Times and author of "The World is Flat".

For the Chinese, going green is not just a problem, but an opportunity, and pollution represents waste and inefficiency, Friedman writes in an article in the official publication of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) 2007 annual conference.

He quoted Chinese media reports as saying that at least 24 million acres (9.7 million hectares) of cultivated land in China -- one-tenth of the country's total arable land -- is now polluted, posing a "grave threat" to China's food safety. More than half of its rivers are also polluted.

Friedman discussed a popular Chinese saying in his article: "Black cat, white cat, all that matter is that it catches mice" --forget about the ideology, all that matter is that China grows.

"Now the cat better be green, otherwise it is going to die before it catches the mouse," writes Friedman, quoting Dan Rosen, an expert on China's economy.

Friedman believed it's a huge project to move China's economy to a sustainable model -- to clean up the engine without stopping the train -- and a green leap will be China's next revolution.

He suggested three shifts in China's development: increasing energy efficiency to reduce energy consumption, persuading Chinese officials at every level to meet "green" targets while meeting growth targets, and promoting public participation in environmental protection.


Editor:Chen Ge