BEIJING, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday stressed efforts to carry forward the Chinese nation's tradition of loving, planting and protecting trees, and to involve the whole society in promoting afforestation.
Wide participation by everyone in China should be encouraged in pushing for large-scale afforestation of the country to achieve more tangible results, said Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission.
He made the remarks while attending a tree-planting activity in east Beijing's Tongzhou District and planting saplings of different types of trees.
Other Party and state leaders, including Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng and Wang Qishan, also attended the activity.
Xi talked with school children who are also attending the tree planting activity, asking about their study and sport exercise, urging them to foster awareness about environmental protection starting in childhood, and encouraging them to build a more beautiful motherland with their own hands.
Xi said this year marks the 40th anniversary of National Tree Planting Day. In the past 40 years, China's forest area and forest stock volume have doubled, respectively, and China is home to the world's largest man-made forest. The proportion of China's contribution to the world's vegetation increase also ranked first.
At the same time, the lack of forests and vegetation, and fragile ecological environment are still problems that need tremendous efforts, said Xi.
Xi stressed that the Chinese nation has a good tradition of loving, planting and protecting trees. Wide participation by everyone in China should be encouraged and officials at all levels should set examples as volunteer tree planters.
Efforts should be taken to promote the high-quality development of afforestation, coordinate management of mountains, waters, forests, farmland, lakes and grassland, continuously advance the building of forest city and forest countryside, Xi said.
Xi called for solid efforts to improve people's living environment, develop a green economy, and strengthen forest management and protection to achieve more tangible results.