Province's deputies lay out green future vision

By Yuan Shenggao (China Daily)

Updated: 2023-03-17


National People's Congress deputies from Shanxi discuss the motions and proposals they plan to put forward during the annual NPC session. [Photo by Li Lianjun for China Daily]

Shanxi delegation puts forward more than 250 proposals at National People's Congress held in Chinese capital

National People's Congress deputies from Shanxi province fulfilled their missions at this year's NPC session, held in Beijing from March 5 to 13, by putting forward motions and proposals on legislative issues and those relating to national and local socioeconomic development.

The Shanxi NPC delegation proposed five motions: promoting legislation for urban and rural community governance; revising laws on the protection of cultural relics, road traffic safety and charity; as well as enhancing legislative supervision on the prevention and control of contagious diseases.

The deputies put forward a total of 254 proposals, including seven joint proposals. The delegation's joint proposals include making the Taiyuan Energy Low Carbon Development Forum a regular international event; building a high-speed railway linking Shanxi and Shandong provinces; enhancing Shanxi's role in the experimental zone for the ecological protection and the high-quality development of the Yellow River Basin; giving stronger financial support for upgrading coal mines toward more intelligent and safer operations; and developing the city cluster in central Shanxi into a national demonstration area for the commercialization of scientific and technological achievements.

The energy sector is a focus of the proposals from the Shanxi delegation. One proposal is for the annual Taiyuan Energy Low Carbon Development Forum to become a regular international event and a platform to aid international exchanges in the field of low-carbon and sustainable energy development.

Taiyuan forum

The forum is also aimed at showcasing Shanxi's and China's transformation in the energy industry.

As a major energy base in China and a pilot zone for energy industry transformation, Shanxi is now implementing an energy revolution campaign, which features the upgrading of traditional coal mining, coking and coal-fired power generation industries and promoting the development of clean, renewable energy resources.

As a result of industrial upgrades driven by digital, intelligent and environmentally friendly technologies, about 80 percent of Shanxi's coal output in 2022, which stood at 1.3 billion metric tons, was produced by advanced facilities with cleaner, safer and more efficient operations.

Shanxi is among the country's leaders in the development of new and clean energy resources.

For instance, Shanxi is one of the provinces in China with the richest coal-bed methane resources and is a pioneer for the safe development of the gas. Its output of the gas now takes up 83.2 percent of the national total.

The province's total installed capacity of new-energy power plants reached 49 million kilowatts, accounting for 40.25 percent of Shanxi's total.

Shanxi's NPC deputies said they hope the Taiyuan forum becomes a venue to showcase the province's best practices in energy industry transformation, as well as those from the rest of the world.

The event is also expected to become a stage for diplomacy, showing China's commitment to low-carbon, sustainable development. It is also aimed at becoming a platform to enhance multilateral collaborations in the energy industry and promote international cooperation in tackling global climate change.

Intelligent operations

In a proposal related to upgrading coal mines toward more intelligent and safer operations, Shanxi's NPC deputies called for increased financial support from the State.

Shanxi now views smart coal mining a crucial link in Shanxi's energy revolution campaign and is vigorously promoting industrial digitalization in the coal mining industry.

Local statistics show that the province is currently home to 37 smart coal mines and 993 smart coal-mining shafts. Intelligent operations like remote-sensing shaft surveillance, unmanned coal cutting and automatic coal conveyance are conducive to improving both efficiency and safety.

However, the digitalized upgrades of coal mines need large sums of investment. So Shanxi's NPC deputies said that the State can play a crucial role in supporting the upgrades.

They suggested preferential taxation and financial policies be used to encourage the construction of safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly coal mines, especially those smaller-sized ones, which are relatively weak in technological and financial resources, when they are launching projects for digitalization and automation.


Shanxi's NPC deputies study the Government Work Report. [Photo by Li Lianjun for China Daily]

Experimental zone

The Shanxi NPC deputies proposed enhancing the province's role in the experimental zone for the ecological protection and the high-quality development of the Yellow River Basin.

The 5,464-kilometer Yellow River is the second-longest river in China. The Shanxi section of the river is 965 km in length.

More than 73.1 percent of the land in Shanxi is part of the river's drainage basin, which is home to 73.4 percent of the province's population. As Shanxi is located on the Loess Plateau, where soil erosion has been a severe challenge for millennia, it holds an important position in the ecological condition of the Yellow River.

Shanxi began to implement its strategy in becoming an experimental zone for ecological protection and high-quality development in the Yellow River's drainage region in 2017. Since then, provincial authorities have put the strategy high on their agenda.

Shanxi released its implementation plan for building an experimental zone for the ecological protection and the high-quality development of the Yellow River Basin in September 2022, calling for measures to curb soil erosion, protect the environment and promote low-carbon, green industrial transformation.

The deputies said this plan has been submitted to the National Development and Reform Commission for approval, aiming to spread Shanxi's experience among provinces and regions along the Yellow River.

Demonstration area

In one of its joint proposals, the Shanxi NPC delegation called for the State's approval for the city cluster in central Shanxi to become a national demonstration area for the commercialization of scientific and technological achievements.

In 2021, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council released a guideline to step up the high-quality development of several city clusters in China's central regions. The city cluster in central Shanxi, which comprises Taiyuan, Jinzhong, Xinzhou, Lyuliang and Yangquan, is on the list.

The city cluster accounts for 47.3 percent of the land area and 46.3 percent of the population in Shanxi. In 2021, its GDP took up 50 percent of the provincial total.

It is a region with the best industrial basis and development potential in Shanxi, boasting many resources for economic growth, including four State-level development zones; 36 provincial-level development zones; and 73.2 percent of Shanxi's higher-learning institutions and research institutes, as well as a solid industrial basis featuring traditional, emerging and high-tech industries.

The Shanxi Transformation and Comprehensive Reform Demonstration Zone, located in Taiyuan and Jinzhong, is the leading development zone in Shanxi. It is piloting Shanxi's economic transformation, which is designed to upgrade traditional industries for higher-efficiency, cleaner and safer operations, and cultivating emerging industries as new growth engines. The zone has such industries as advanced manufacturing, the digital economy, biomedicines, new energy vehicles, electronic information, smart logistics, modern agriculture and environmental protection.

The Taiyuan-Xinzhou Integrated Economic Zone was launched in 2021. The zone is mobilizing resources in both cities to build industrial clusters centering on new materials and advanced equipment manufacturing, and foster new engines for the province's economic development.

While serving the cities' integration, the zone is designed to host industries and resources that have relocated from the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Shanxi's NPC deputies said in the process of building a central Shanxi city cluster and promoting industrial transformation, there is great demand for commercializing the scientific and technological results developed by entities in Shanxi and across the rest of the country.

They added that there are also many scenarios for the commercialization of sciences and technologies, either in upgrading its traditional industries or in developing emerging sectors.

Zhao Xiangnan and Yang Wen contributed to this story.