BEIJING, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu Monday urged concrete measures be taken to protect the ecological environment while building to improve living conditions as part of the country's campaign to develop its vast western regions.
Hui made his remarks at the opening ceremony of the achievements exhibition displaying the western regions' environmental protection and construction accomplishments during the "West Development" campaign.
The Chinese government launched the "West Development" campaign ten years ago as part of a program to narrow the gap between the country's coastal eastern region and the underdeveloped west.
Statistics indicate that forest coverage has increased in the west from 10.32 percent to 17.05 percent over the past decade thanks to west regions' efforts in natural forests preservation, forestry restoration and reducing the impact of desertification.
Hui called on local governments in the western regions to more effectively implement the central government's policies and decisions at the recent work meeting on West Development held on July 5 and 6.
The western regions should also do its share to maintain the country's ecological security, Hui said