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Forum highlights green effort

Updated: 2011-07-15 11:51

By Li Xing and Tan Yingzi (China Daily)

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SALT LAKE CITY - Regional cooperation in environmental protection, energy efficiency and clean energy were the main topics of discussion of the day on Thursday among the heads of local governments from China and the United States during the first day of the US-China Trade, Culture and Education Conference in Utah's capital.

Forum highlights green effort
Utah Governor Gary Herbert poses with, from left, CPAFFC Vice President Li Xiaolin, Anhui Governor Wang Sanyun, Zhejiang Party secretary Zhao Hongzhu, Yunnan Governor Qin Guangrong, and Qinghai Governor Luo Huining. [Chen Bei/China Daily]

Meanwhile, tourism, education and exchanges in talent training are potential areas to be tapped for regional collaborations, they told the conference.

"Researchers, engineers and innovators working together in concert to solve complex problems in energy efficiency and environment conservation leads to both job opportunities and benefit to people all over the world," Utah Governor Gary Herbert said in his keynote speech at the conference's opening, a prelude to the China-US Governors Forum in Salt Lake City.

Echoing his counterpart's remarks, Luo Huining, governor of Qinghai province, which has forged a sister relationship with Utah, said: "The new eco-partnership between Qinghai and Utah keeps in step with the global green development and fits in with the China-US strategic cooperation".

Zhao Hongzhu, Zhejiang provincial Party secretary and head of the Chinese delegation to the governors forum, noted that both Zhejiang and Utah each have made headway in the fields of environmental protection, natural resources, information technology, finance, education and tourism.

While Zhejiang is upgrading its economic structure, Utah is also promoting high-tech industry in its effort to reorient its economic development. "There are a lot of areas where Zhejiang and Utah can join hands in achieving mutual development," Zhao said.

Wang Sanyun, Anhui provincial governor, highlighted the need for regional cooperation in developing a low-carbon economy, as the province is pressing ahead with new materials and energy efficient automobiles.

The conference attracted a few hundred researchers and entrepreneurs from local universities, businesses and other institutions in China and the US, as they explore opportunities for new joint projects to promote trade and business, education, cultural exchanges and tourism.

Luo said that as sister regions, Qinghai and Utah can encourage businesses in both regions to join hands to extend their cooperation beyond the government and university levels, citing the example of a new joint venture between Qinghai and Utah businesses to develop new materials and new energy.

Tourism is also being highlighted during the conference. Herbert expressed hope that more Chinese tourists would visit Utah, even though at present Chinese is already the No 1 most requested language for translation at the Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

The Yunnan delegation drew a lot of attention with the exhibits of its unique landscape and eco-tourism resources. Southwest China's Yunnan province is best known not only as a land of bio-diversity, with indigenous plant and animal species accounting for nearly 50 percent of those found only in China, but also a land of ethnic diversity with 26 minority groups.

China Daily learned from Charles Bedford, The Nature Conservancy's deputy managing director for North Asia, that Yunnan will work with the US-based group to design and create up to 10 new protected parks in China.

Yunnan hopes to conserve its ecological diversity and preserve its multi-ethnic cultures through the development of eco-tourism, Yunnan Governor Qin Guangrong said on Thursday.

All the potential new joint projects need talented people to make the initiative successful and join in research and development. Herbert and his four Chinese counterparts all noted the importance of cultural exchanges and talent training.

"Through the channel of education collaboration and youth exchange, we can foster academic exchanges and cooperation in research and development," Wang said.

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