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Top Chinese official says green, high tech development key as nation seeks to spur economy

BOAO, China (AP) — China is committed to reforms that will upgrade the technological level of its largely manufacturing-based economy and exploit green technologies expected to drive around $1.4 trillion in annual revenues, a senior Communist Party official said Thursday.

“We sincerely welcome all countries to board the express train of China’s development and join hands to realize world modernization featuring peaceful development, mutually beneficial cooperation and common prosperity,” Zhao Leiji, who heads China’s rubber stamp congress and sits on the party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, was quoted as telling business people and other leaders attending the Boao Forum for Asia.

The gathering in Boao, held on China’s island island province of Hainan on the South China Sea, is the latest venue for efforts by Beijing to reassure foreign investors rattled by policies that have raised uncertainties for foreign businesses, geopolitical tensions, and an economic slowdown.

Zhao told the forum that China’s economy will be good in the long term, the Foreign Ministry cited him as saying.

“The fundamentals have not changed,” he was quoted as saying.

China is the world’s second largest economy after the U.S. and has excelled in areas such as electric vehicles, solar and wind power, and high-speed trains. But it remains heavily dependent on highly-polluting coal to power its industries.

The government has set a goal for this year of China’s energy consumption per unit of GDP by 2.5% as part of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and transition to a greener economy.

“We are speeding up efforts to promote green and low-carbon economic and social development, and will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030