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    A woman wearing a mask to protect herself from pollutants walks out from an underground tunnel against a backdrop of the city skylines shrouded by haze in Beijing, China Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

    China Plans to Enter Era of 'Ecological Civilization'

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    Creating a new "ecological civilization" rather than focusing on GDP growth will become a new priority of the Chinese government toward 2020, a former adviser to China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection told Sputnik Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On October 26-29, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is holding its 5th plenum, to set directions for the country's 13th 5-year plan for 2016-2020.

    "The CCP under Xi Jinping's leadership will herald an era of 'ecological civilization' calling for a new type of growth that is more holistic and balanced than the almost blind focus on high growth industrial development of the past decade," Laurence J. Brahm, the founder of the Himalayan Consensus NGO protecting ethnic diversity, said.

    He added that "paramount on the agenda will be improvement of the environment not only for aesthetic reasons but rather for food and water security as a national priority."

    "This will involve sweeping reforms calling for regenerative policies of renewable and efficient energy and smart cities reversing a decade of blind growth drive by high carbon output. Officials under Xi's administration will be promoted on the basis of what they do for their community and environment rather than on the GDP statistics they deliver as has been the case for the past decade," he observed.

    The CCP will introduce new values rewarding conservation as opposed to consumption, holding party members to a higher environmental and ecological standard, Brahm pointed out.

    According to Brahm, "it will be in many ways a reversal of some policies of excess and a rebalancing of the China growth model."

    It comes after Chinese National Bureau of Statistics announced last week that the country's economic growth stood at 6.9 percent in the third quarter of 2015, reaching its slowest pace since March 2009.

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