Despite increasing downward pressure on its economy, China is assuring the world of its firm resolution in the pursuit of green development with concrete and self-motivated efforts.
For China, green development is a critical element of modernizing its economy. The country sticks to a new development vision that features innovative, coordinated, green and open development for the benefit of all.
It is not at the request of others, but on the country's own initiative.
With a large population, China is facing increasing resource constraints, severe environmental pollution and a deteriorating ecosystem. People are becoming increasingly aware of environmental problems.
The country's leadership has made it clear that China must win the battle to ensure blue skies and clean water and soil.
The battle will not be won easily.
Facing a complicated and challenging domestic and international environment of a kind rarely seen in many years, China has two options: lowering standards of environmental protection in launching new projects to stimulate growth; finding fundamental solutions to address pollution and build an ecological civilization that will benefit generations to come.
China's choice and actions reassure those who may doubt its seriousness about green development.
When China says it "puts ecological protection first," it is not just lip service.
This year, China will cut the energy consumption per unit of GDP by around 3 percent. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions will be cut by 3 percent, and there will be a continuous decline in PM2.5 density in key areas.
The central government will allocate 25 billion yuan (3.73 billion U.S. dollars) to prevent and control air pollution, an increase of 25 percent year on year, an evidence of the advantage of China's governance system which can "concentrate resources to accomplish major undertakings."
China will also strengthen green and environmental protection industries, and press ahead to conserve and restore the ecosystems of mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, farmland, and grassland.
Simple, moderate, green, and low-carbon ways of life are increasingly popular in China. It has become common sense among the public that "lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets themselves."
As a matter of fact, the country's yearning for green growth, instead of dragging down the economy, will be a boon to the economy, for China and the rest of the world.
Chinese and foreign investors are embracing a new wave of opportunities in the market for environment-related products and services, such as thermal power and steel industry upgrading, the development of sewer networks and treatment facilities and the construction of eco-friendly buildings.
China is one of the first countries to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change. China has pledged to halt the rise in carbon dioxide emissions by around 2030.
Among the essence of traditional Chinese thinking is the concept that man and nature form a community of life. Only by observing the laws of nature can mankind avoid costly blunders in its exploitation.
China has embarked on this bumpy but promising road. Marching toward an era of green development, there will be no turning back.