BEIJING, March 16 (Xinhua) -- "What we take from nature should be well-measured, and how we use these things should be restrained" was once proposed by an ancient Chinese official, and the proposal has deeply resonated with President Xi Jinping.
"The well-measured use of natural resources is key to ecological conservation," Xi said, quoting the proposal when addressing the opening ceremony of the International Horticultural Exhibition in Beijing in April 2019.
The quote was taken from a policy proposal from Lu Zhi in Tang Dynasty (618-907). Lu held that what nature can offer and what humans can produce both have their limits, so people should obtain and use natural resources in a measured and restrained manner.
Lu's argument inherited a temperate attitude toward nature from ancient sages such as Confucius and Mencius, and was acknowledged by literati of later times -- particularly the renowned historian Sima Guang, who quoted him in his masterpiece "Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government."
The Chinese government today has learnt from the ancient wisdom and incorporated the idea in its efforts to balance ecological conservation and human development.
"We need to promote a simpler, greener and more low-carbon lifestyle, oppose excessiveness and foster a culture of living green and living healthy," Xi said in his April 2019 speech.
Under Xi's leadership, China issued a regional 10-year ban on fishing to protect its longest river, the Yangtze, while working to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
"We must move faster to define and enforce strict controls, including red lines for environmental protection, minimum standards for environmental quality, and ceilings on resource utilization," Xi once said.
Joining deliberations with fellow lawmakers at the annual session of the national legislature, which concluded last week, Xi again promised to take proactive and prudent steps to advance the peaking of carbon emissions and the achievement of carbon neutrality.