A dream gives people vision

Updated: 2013-03-12 07:33

By Wu Jiao, Zhao Shengnan and Hu Haiyan (China Daily)

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A dream of cleaner air and safer food

For Zhang Jiyao, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a strong country means not only economic strength, but also a happier life and a cleaner environment.

A dream gives people vision

The price of economic development has been high in terms of environmental degradation. That means the government should increase its efforts to safeguard the environment while pursuing the China dream. We have to make the country's sky bluer, the waters cleaner and the mountains greener, and ensure that children live happier lives, he said.

However, Zhang anticipated hardships in realizing his dream, because the problems are now overwhelming.

Local governments are obsessed with the pursuit of GDP growth and the overall awareness of environmental issues is still inadequate, he said.

"They always put a priority on economic development if they are caught in a dilemma between economic growth and the cost of environmental protection," said Zhang.

To resolve the situation, the country must raise its environmental protection criteria and improve law enforcement in the sector, while increasing input in the environmental field, according to Zhang.

Li Wei, a national legislator who is also chief of China's leading food company, Sinian Food Co, said the China dream should revolve around a domestic food industry that emphasizes safety, freshness, trust and high quality.

If that were to happen, Chinese-made baby formula and other foods would be the people's first choice, he said.

Li made the remarks against the backdrop of a slew of food scandals, including substandard baby formula and tainted milk, that have shocked the country. Many mainlanders have flocked to buy foreign-made baby formula in places such as Hong Kong, which has helped to push up the price of the formula. In response, Hong Kong has imposed a two-tin limit on the amount of baby formula mainlanders are allowed to take out of the city.

To ensure food safety, Li proposed the establishment of a surveillance system in which those in charge of product quality should maintain that responsibility throughout their lives.

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