GT Voice: Xinjiang’s green devt experience valuable to Western economies

Illustration: Xia Qing/Global Times

Illustration: Xia Qing/Global Times

Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has emerged as a prominent symbol of China’s progress in new-energy development. Its leading position in the new-energy field can offer concrete evidence showcasing China’s efforts to maintain stability, promote economic development and enhance people’s livelihoods in the region. 

These tangible achievements speak volumes, countering baseless Western hype over alleged human rights issues.

The installed capacity of new energy in Xinjiang has exceeded 70 million kilowatts (kW), accounting for about half of the region’s total installed capacity, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday, citing data from the State Grid Xinjiang Electric Power Co.

Xinjiang now ranks among the top markets in terms of its installed capacity of new energy and the capacity proportion of new energy. Even on a global scale, these are remarkable signs of progress. Only a handful of European countries, such as Denmark, get 50 percent of their electricity from wind and solar power.

Xinjiang’s achievements not only mark a major advance in China’s new-energy development but also provide the world, especially Western countries, with valuable experience in green development. 

Some American politicians are advised to learn about China’s efforts in achieving rapid green growth in Xinjiang, so as to give meaningful consideration to facilitating their country’s green development, instead of spreading lies about Xinjiang.

Xinjiang boasts of some of the largest new-energy resources in China. Total reserves of wind energy resources in Xinjiang are estimated at about 890 million kW and the exploitable amount of wind energy resources accounts for 15.4 percent of the country’s total. 

The exploitable amount of solar energy resources accounts for 40 percent of the country’s total, ranking top worldwide, according to local authorities.

In recent years, Xinjiang has capitalized on its natural advantages in energy and other resources, actively promoting the development of renewable energy. This has led to significant progress in adjusting the region’s energy structure, with the rapid construction of large-scale wind power and photovoltaic base projects. 

Xinjiang has installed 35.68 million kW of wind power and 34.35 million kW of photovoltaic power. Under the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), the region approved 180 gigawatts of new-energy capacity, with installed capacity estimated to exceed 89 million kW by the end of 2024. By then, new energy is expected to become the primary power source in Xinjiang.

Over the years, the rapid development of new energy in Xinjiang has been greatly facilitated by China’s policy of boosting development in the country’s western region, aiming to bridge the development gap with the eastern region.

It is under the guidance of the central government’s policies covering the western region that Xinjiang has increased its investment and support to the new-energy industry, actively driving the transformation and upgrading of the local economy. 

Accelerated economic development has also benefited people in Xinjiang, which is conducive to promoting social stability. 

Xinjiang’s transformation of its resource advantage into economic development advantage has not only ensured electricity supply for the local population, but also boosted local employment. 

While promoting the construction of new-energy projects, Xinjiang also prioritizes ecological protection, achieving a harmonious balance between economic development and environmental protection.

The experience of Xinjiang in new-energy policies, investment and infrastructure construction demonstrates that government guidance and support can expedite the growth of the new-energy industry. 

As the world strives to achieve green development and address climate change, Xinjiang’s example in the area of new-energy development could serve as a valuable reference for other countries, especially those in the West.

US should play a responsible role in ensuring stable, smooth new-energy supply chain: FM spokesperson

The manufacturing line of a NEV factory in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality Photo: VCG

The manufacturing line of a NEV factory in Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality Photo: VCG

Ensuring a stable and smooth global supply chain serves the interests of all, and is a responsibility that should be shared by all parties, including the US, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Thursday, in response to comments made by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Chinese new-energy products.

A Chinese expert in China-US trade said that China’s edge in new-energy industries are the result of Chinese entrepreneurship, massive investment in tech innovation and the country’s comprehensive manufacturing strength, as well as the choice of the market, which US officials should respect.

On Wednesday, Yellen said she intended to warn Chinese officials in “a constructive talk” about the negative effects of subsidies for China’s clean energy products, including solar panels and electric vehicles (EVs), during a planned visit to China, according to a report by Reuters. 

Yellen reportedly said China’s “overproduction” of solar panels, EVs and lithium-ion batteries have “distorted” global markets and hurt jobs in other industrial and developing economies.

In response, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said at a routine press conference on Thursday that China firmly opposes trade protectionism and unilateral bullying.

The global industrial and supply chains are shaped and developed by the laws of market and business choices combined, Lin pointed out, noting that the vigorous development of China’s new-energy sector relies on technological innovation and excellent quality formed amid global market competition, rather than relying on so-called subsidies for support and protection.

“Speaking of subsidies, I would like to point out the US is leveraging the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)’s tax credit policies to distort fair market competition and disrupt the global industrial chain, violating relevant rules of the WTO and the principle of market economy,” Lin said. 

“China firmly opposes such acts by the US and urges the US to correct its discriminatory industrial policies,” said Lin.

Zhou Mi, a senior research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Thursday that any mismatch in supply and demand can only be addressed through global industry dialogue and cooperation. 

Zhou urged the US side to observe the laws of market, refrain from unilateral control measures under the pretext of protecting national security, and lower tariffs on Chinese goods.

In mid-March, Donald Trump, now presumably the Republican Party US presidential candidate, threatened that he would hit cars made in Mexico by Chinese companies with a 100-percent tariff, according to Bloomberg.

In what analysts say is a “reasonable, legitimate and well-founded” move, China lodged a dispute complaint at the WTO against the US over discriminatory subsidies on new-energy vehicles (NEVs) under the US IRA on Tuesday.

The move not only aims to safeguard the interests of Chinese new-energy vehicle companies and a fair competitive environment for the global NEV industry, but also to firmly defend the rules-based multilateral trading system and resolutely maintain the stability of the global NEV industrial chain and supply chain, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. 

In 2023, China accounted for around 60 percent of global electric car sales, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). China doubled solar panel capacity in 2023, and wind power capacity rose by 66 per cent from a year earlier, the IEA estimated.

China is a current leader in new-energy industry. In 2023, its export value of solar panels, electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries totaled 1.06 trillion yuan, increasing 29.9 percent from 2022, customs data showed.

China’s new-energy industry deserves to be rewarded as their successes stem from risky endeavors that aim to transform the world into a green, better living place, Zhou said.