Support for energy conservation
Eric Ng in Beijing
An industry leader yesterday echoed Premier Wen Jiabao's call for energy conservation to ensure the mainland's sustainable development, but others dismissed concerns that the nation faces an energy crisis.
Mr Wen allocated a full page of his 49-page Government Work Report at the National People's Congress session to conservation and the best use of energy and resources.
'We will resolutely adhere to the policy of simultaneously developing and conserving energy and resources, giving priority to conservation,' he said.
'We will promptly draw up standards and targets for reducing energy and resource consumption in every industry, with policies and measures for meeting the targets.'
Yin Jiaxu , chairman of Changan Automobile, one of the mainland's largest carmakers, said he agreed with Mr Wen but said concrete measures had yet to be seen.
'There are as yet no policies that encourage corporations to develop more energy-efficient cars.'
He said he would make proposals to the NPC about promoting cars that were fuel-efficient and polluted less, and give suggestions for discouraging the sale of high-emission vehicles.
While the government pushes for conservation, some industry veterans are playing down the risk of an energy crisis.
'Oil and gas shortages are normal. Most developed countries face shortages, even the United States,' said Hainan Governor Wei Liucheng , a former chairman of the China National Offshore Oil Corp.
'China has no energy crisis,' said the company's current chairman, Fu Chengyu . 'Despite the current tight supply, China will not have an energy crisis in the future.
'China is largely energy self-sufficient ... imports should still be less than domestic production even by 2010.'