East China’s Shandong embarks on green, high-quality development of Yellow River basin

East China’s Shandong Province has set out to promote high-quality development of the Yellow River basin by developing industries such as high-end equipment manufacturing, green chemicals and modern agriculture, building wind and solar power bases, and launching multiple projects that represent the Yellow River culture, according to Zhou Naixiang, deputy secretary of the CPC Shandong Provincial Committee and governor of Shandong, at a press conference on Shandong’s work held by the State Council Information Office on Wednesday.

Zhou said that the province will focus on the implementation of flood control projects in the lower reaches of the river. Also, it will strengthen ecological environmental protection and management by accelerating the construction of wildlife corridors along the river, building the Yellow River Estuary National Park, strengthening the management of agricultural pollution, and implementing the action plan for biodiversity protection.

The ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River basin, as a major national strategy, focuses on the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the overall economic and social development. 

In February of 2022, Shandong Province, where the Yellow River flows through its nine cities and 25 counties, released its ecological protection and high-quality development plan for the river basin in the province.

Shandong’s flood control project in the lower reaches of the river in Jinan City, April 3, 2024. /CFP

Shandong’s flood control project in the lower reaches of the river in Jinan City, April 3, 2024. /CFP

In recent years, Shandong has been practicing the green, low-carbon and high-quality development across the entire province.

Shandong’s ecological improvements have been notable in the past three years. According to Zhou, the province’s energy consumption per 10,000 yuan (about $1,383) of the GDP has decreased by 15.8 percent, and the installed capacity of green and renewable energy power generation has exceeded 97 million kilowatts. In addition, average PM2.5 concentrations in the province have decreased by 19 percent in the past three years, and the proportion of water bodies with good quality has increased to 83.7 percent.

While pursuing green and low-carbon development, the province has made significant progress in promoting economic growth, developing science and technology, and improving the people’s wellbeing.

At the press conference, Zhou noted that the province’s GDP has grown at an average annual rate of over 6 percent in the past three years, reaching 9.2 trillion yuan in 2023. Also, the research and development spending has maintained a growth rate of more than 12 percent for the past three years, and the number of state key laboratories has reached 21 in the province.