Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, plants a tree during a tree-planting activity in Chaoyang District in Beijing, capital of China, April 2, 2021. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday joined Beijing citizens to plant trees and urged efforts to build a beautiful homeland with harmonious coexistence between humans and nature, reiterating the country’s determination to follow a green development path and pursue high-quality development.

Xi has always attached great importance to ecological conservation and green development. His latest green footprints mark the ninth consecutive year of joining the annual voluntary tree-planting initiative, setting an example for the construction of an ecological civilization.

As the world’s second-largest economy enters a phase of high-quality development, green development has become a key component of its new vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development.

A good eco-environment is part of the public well-being. Adhering to the principle of people-centered development, China’s efforts in pursuing green development, including afforestation, would help create an environment where the sky is blue, the land green, and the water clean. These factors benefit all Chinese people.

With Xi at the helm, China’s green development has picked up the pace and become more prominent in top-level designs and master plans. In its latest development blueprint, China has vowed to stay true to the principle that “lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets.” It will significantly lower the energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) and its carbon dioxide emissions per GDP unit.

Protecting the environment and dealing with climate change requires joint efforts of all countries. China has played an active role in global environmental governance and is willing to work with others to build a green home. It will host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in October, creating an opportunity for the international community to build a shared future for all life on Earth.

As the tree-planting activity illustrates, each individual is a protector, builder, and beneficiary of green development. The concrete actions of a country with 1.4 billion people will be an inspirational precedent for the rest of the world.