HANGZHOU, China – Former President Clinton urged China on Saturday to recognize the urgency of the environmental threats to its growth, and to use the Internet as a tool to surmount them.
“You will have to come to grips with significant challenges to your growth,” Clinton said at an Internet conference. He warned that the energy consumption required to keep China’s economy growing at its recent rate of more than 9 percent is “unsustainable.”
China’s oil imports have soared as it struggles to keep booming industries growing. Its continued strong growth, and that of the rest of the world, will depend on its ability to find alternative energy sources and make better use of the resources it has, Clinton said.
“If we don’t do it, it will eventually impose severe restraints on economic growth and make future conflicts far more likely,” Clinton said.
Clinton, the keynote speaker at a conference hosted by Yahoo’s new Chinese partner, Alibaba.com, did not respond to questions from reporters about demands by human rights activists that he raise the case of a jailed Chinese journalist with his hosts.
Just days earlier, overseas-based human rights groups disclosed that Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. had provided e-mail account information that helped lead to Shi Tao’s conviction and 10-year prison sentence on state secrecy charges.