GUIYANG, July 11, Xinhua - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Friday that China has designated ecological and environmental protection as a key area in opening up to the outside world.

Li made the remark in a message sent to the Eco Forum Global Annual Conference 2014 that opened Friday in Guiyang, capital of the southwest province of Guizhou.

Li said that China will continue to strengthen environmental cooperation with all other countries and international organizations by pressing for implementation of the international environmental pact and jointly addressing climate change.

The Premier said China has given even greater priority to developing an eco-wise civilization in its modernization drive. It sticks to a protective approach in development and has improved the regulatory system for environmental protection. He said China has made great efforts to control haze, water pollution and soil contamination and advanced change in energy and resources production and consumption. He said China will continue to carry out major ecological projects in order to offer a healthy environment to the people.

Li said the forum will bring together common sense on eco-wise development and explore new frontiers for sustainable growth in the world.

Nearly 1,000 people attended the forum. Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao made a speech at the opening ceremony.

He said people should balance economic development and preservation of the eco-system. He called for people to adopt the thinking that protecting and improving the environment is equal to maintaining and developing productivity. He said people should pursue the road of civilized development with greater productivity, better lives and a sound environment.

The Vice President also urged people to balance environmental protection and ecological restoration. He said the government should carry out rehabilitation of the eco-system as work of fundamental significance and create the social attitude to be nature friendly and protect the environment.

Li Yuanchao said the balance between developing and saving resources requires a set of rigid rules, an effective system of governance and harsh regulation by the law. He also called for greater efforts in expanding green, recycling and low-carbon-emission industries.

The Vice President said different countries should balance their own specific responsibilities and international cooperation to achieve common environment-friendly development.

He said China is advocating and implementing the development of environment-friendly civilization and is ready to strengthen cooperation with all other countries on an equal, friendly, and mutually beneficial basis.

Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, President of the Council of States of Switzerland's Federal Assembly Hannes Germann, Russian Presidential Administration chief Sergei Ivanov, Vanuatu Deputy Prime Minister Ham Lini also made speeches at the opening ceremony.

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