On April 4, Chinese President Xi Jinping joined a voluntary tree planting activity in Beijing as part of a prelude to the Qingming Festival. This activity was conducted with other leaders, including Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, Li Xi, and Han Zheng. The event took place at a city park in the eastern district of Chaoyang, where they planted trees alongside local people amid a light shower. This is a yearly activity that President Xi has participated in since he assumed office as the general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in 2012. Additionally, Xi has engaged in similar activities during his previous work assignments in Fujian, Zhejiang, and Shanghai.
China has always placed great importance on tree planting activities, which symbolize the revival of the nation, sustainable development, and the inheritance of Chinese civilization. The country has a long history of tree planting, dating back to ancient times when it was believed that planting trees would bring good luck and good harvests. In modern times, tree planting has become a significant part of China’s environmental protection and ecological construction efforts.
The government has made extensive efforts to encourage people to engage in tree planting activities. China has even launched several tree-planting campaigns that aim to plant billions of trees across the country. One of these campaigns is the “Green Great Wall” initiative, which aims to plant 100 billion trees by 2050. Through these campaigns, China has significantly increased its forest cover and now has the largest forest area in the world.
Apart from the ecological benefits, tree planting activities also have social and economic benefits. They provide employment opportunities, promote eco-tourism, and contribute to the beautification of urban areas. Additionally, the trees help to purify the air, prevent soil erosion, and conserve water resources.
The National Tree Planting Day is a significant holiday in China, which takes place in the spring. The tradition of tree planting in China dates back thousands of years when people stuck willow branches on their homes during the Qingming Festival. Even in ancient times, the Chinese recognized the value of trees and forests and took measures to protect them. Emperor Shun, for instance, appointed a minister to oversee forestry affairs across the country.
Throughout Chinese history, almost every dynasty has taken steps to promote tree planting and protect the nation’s forests. The practice of awarding individuals for planting trees was also common. Sun Yat-sen, a well-known statesman who led a revolution that ended imperial rule in China, was one of the earliest advocates for tree planting in modern China. Following his death on March 12, 1925, the tradition of planting trees continued as a way of honoring him.
This year marks China’s 45th National Tree Planting Day, which is a testament to the nation’s longstanding commitment to environmental protection. In recent years, China has launched several ambitious tree planting initiatives to address issues such as soil erosion, deforestation, and desertification. This year, China plans to plant at least 100 million mu (6.67 million hectares) of forests and grasslands.
Tree planting in China is not just a symbolic gesture; it has numerous practical benefits. Trees help to purify the air, prevent soil erosion, conserve water resources, and promote biodiversity. Additionally, tree planting activities create job opportunities and promote eco-tourism. They also contribute to the beautification of urban areas.
The Chinese government has made significant efforts to promote tree planting activities, particularly in rural areas. The government has provided subsidies and technical support to encourage farmers to engage in tree planting activities. The government’s efforts have paid off, as China has significantly increased its forest cover in recent years. The country now has the largest forest area in the world.
President Xi’s participation in the tree planting activity not only serves as an excellent example of leadership but also underscores the importance of tree planting activities. It highlights the need for individuals, communities, and governments to work together in promoting sustainable development and ecological protection. The activity also serves as a reminder that preserving the environment is a shared responsibility that requires continuous efforts from all members of society.
The tradition of tree planting dates back thousands of years and has been passed down from generation to generation. The government has taken extensive measures to promote tree planting activities and has launched several initiatives to address environmental issues. Tree planting in China not only has symbolic value but also has numerous practical benefits that contribute to sustainable development.
Between 1982 and 2021, Chinese people have made significant voluntary efforts to plant approximately 78.1 billion trees across the country. The Chinese government’s commitment to afforestation is also reflected in the significant increase in forest coverage over the past decade. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, China has planted 1.02 billion mu of trees, resulting in a forest coverage rate of 24.02 percent, up from 21.63 percent a decade ago.
According to Chinese President Xi Jinping, nationwide tree-planting campaigns are an essential practice to promote afforestation and build a beautiful China. China’s remarkable progress in promoting holistic conservation and systematic governance of mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands, and deserts is reflected in its large-scale greening campaign. The campaign has significantly contributed to creating a beautiful homeland with blue skies, green lands, and clean waters.
In recent years, China has played a unique role in forest conservation and preventing deforestation. Statistics indicate that China has increased more than 22 million hectares of forest area over the past decade, ranking first globally and contributing a quarter of the world’s new forest area. China’s efforts in afforestation and forest conservation have contributed significantly to addressing global environmental challenges.
Erik Solheim, former executive director of the UN Environment Programme, praised China’s efforts in afforestation in a recent article. Solheim acknowledged the strenuous and smart efforts that have gone into the forestation process in China over the past decades. The Chinese people’s commitment to afforestation has resulted in numerous stories that have made history.
President Xi Jinping encouraged students to continue planting trees for future generations. This activity brought together various leaders, including Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang, Li Xi, and Han Zheng, who joined the locals in planting trees at a city park in the eastern district of Chaoyang in Beijing amid a spring shower.
Traditional courtyard houses in Beijing always have acacia and persimmon trees, begonia, pomegranate trees, and jujubes. Xi shared his memories of growing up in Beijing, mentioning that he often thinks about trees when he reminisces about the city.
Tree planting in China has become a spiritual representation that has been passed on from generation to generation. It has cultivated environmental awareness among the people and nurtured the country’s green development philosophy. Through tree planting, China has not only optimized its environment but also retained the people’s nostalgia. It has laid a strong foundation for achieving sustainable development and inheriting the Chinese civilization.
For the Chinese people, tree planting is more than just a tradition or obligation; it is a way of life. They believe in taking proactive steps, from planting trees to ensuring their homeland has lucid waters and lush mountains that are invaluable assets. By doing so, they aim to draw a new picture of their beautiful China.
In recent years, China has placed great importance on afforestation and has achieved significant results. According to reports, since 1982, the Chinese people have voluntarily planted around 78.1 billion trees across the country. In the past decade, China has increased more than 22 million hectares of forest area, ranking first globally with a quarter of the world’s new forest area. Such efforts have enabled China to increase its forest coverage to 24.02 percent, up from 21.63 percent a decade ago.
The country’s large-scale greening campaign has created a beautiful homeland with blue skies, green lands, and clean waters, and the Chinese leadership has continued to emphasize the importance of tree-planting campaigns in advancing afforestation and building a beautiful China. It is an active practice that reflects the country’s commitment to promoting holistic conservation and systematic governance of mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands, and deserts.