China's Environmental and Development Issues in Transition

Wang Yi
Lanzhou University
China has seen rapid economic development as well as severe environmental degradation over the past two decades. Although the Chinese government has made a great effort to provide environmental protection, it has been stymied by China’s economic development pattern, which follows the traditional industrialization mode of low efficiency in resource use and considerable pollutant discharge. In other words, China achieved its rapid economic growth at the cost of depleting natural resources and environmental quality. Should comprehensive and effective actions not be undertaken in the next 15 years, the pollution pressures will exceed China’s environmental carrying capacity and lead to an irreversible environmental crisis. Should this occur, environmental issues would become not only the greatest obstacle to China’s achievement of a xiao kang society and undermine China’s international image, but would also have a severe effect on the global environment
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