Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan has stressed the importance of using clean production technologies in the cement industry for saving energy and protecting the environment.
He made the call in a message to the 20th annual meeting of the International Cement Conference (Intercem) that opened in Chinese capital Beijing on Tuesday.
"We must accelerate the development of big cement plants, gradually phase out backward production capacity, promote clean production, develop the recycling economy and move toward harmonious coexistence of human and nature," Zeng said.
The annual meeting of Intercem is the biggest gathering for the global cement industry. Around 600 representatives from over 50 countries are taking part in this year's meeting.
The vice-premier stressed the needs for nations to work together for the sustainable development of the global cement industry, adding that the Chinese government would support international exchanges and cooperation in technologies, equipment and engineering.
China is the world's biggest cement producer, recording a production of 1.05 billion tons in 2005.
The majority of the production currently comes from small factories, which are inefficient in energy consumption and backward in environmental protection technologies.
China's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) for the cement industry aims to shut down some 1,600 small factories, phasing out 250 million tons of backward production capacity.