On August 28, 2017, General Secretary Xi Jinping remarked on the achievement of Saihanba Afforestation Community in Hebei by stressing that: the whole Party and society must adhere to a green development, promote the spirit of Saihanba, and persevere in promoting ecological progress. Xi called on the Chinese people to continue for generations in creating a new pattern of harmonious development of the humanity and nature; make our motherland more beautiful and leave the future generations with a beautiful environment in which the sky is bluer, the mountains are greener, and the water is clearer.
Saihanba in northern Hebei Province used to be a wasteland. For more than half a century, three generations of local people have planted with perseverance and dedication a total of 1.12 million mu (about 74,666 ha.) of forests. Today, Saihanba delivers 137 million cubic meters of clean water and 550,000 tons of oxygen to Beijing and Tianjin each year, making it an important ecological barrier for Beijing and Tianjin.
That said, the economic benefits of Saihanba Afforestation Community cannot be underestimated. The forest stock has reached 10.12 million cubic meters, and there are more than 600 kinds of wild plants. The total value of forest resources is RMB 20.2 billion and contributes more than RMB 600 million to the local total social income. The ecological progress of Saihanba has resulted in great economic benefits.
Since 1962, the builders of the Saihanba Afforestation Community respond to the call of the Party by working hard to make a miracle happen—turn this treeless, sandy wasteland into a vast forest. The spirit of Saihanba entails a strong sense of mission, arduous pioneering work, and green development.
The achievements of Saihanba for more than half a century are a reflection of the concept that “lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets.” It proves General Secretary Xi Jinping’s incisive idea that “protecting the ecological environment means protecting productivity and improving the ecological environment is developing productivity.”
General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that: “Environment is livelihood; green mountains are beauty; and blue skies are happiness.” Green mountains, lucid rivers, and clean air are not impossible dreams. Neither are people's prosperity, the country's prosperity and strength, and the beauty of China. We can achieve all these if we adhere to the green development and the spirit of Saihanba in our efforts to press forward with ecological progress.