My China Book
China's Environment and the Challenge of Sustainable Development
Kristen A. Day
The book that I chose to read for a China was rather dry and focused mostly on the way that China has been developed in the past and the way that it is going for the future. This is an issue that can claim a spot that is close to many of our hearts. With the recent green technology revolution the pressure on the world's leading countries is enormous to get clean and stay that way.
The book I read focused on how the Chinese point of view has allowed their country to become one of the most industrialized in the world. The view that the State is the only thing that needs to prosper and be preserved has contributed a lot to China's economic and industrial past.
China has a poorly run environmental protection governmental arm, relying mostly on the regional and local officers to enforce the protection policies. These are usually underpaid or not paid at all and this causes the factory owners and politicians to build whatever they want, with no regard to the environment.
This directly causes other problems, many of which are worse than the pollution. China has a severe shortage of rural drinking water due in a large part to the pollution caused by its lack of environmental protection. The people are taking a notice and are demanding a change.
Major change has began to take place where gross grievances have been discovered. For example in 2003 47 farmers in Jiaxing, in Zhejiang Province were awarded around one million dollars for the Chinese Governments destruction of their fisheries due to factory run off. If more things like this happen in China, then hopefully the Government can adopt a more forward policy on the environment.
This book made me realize that there are many of the same issues in China that the U.S. has. Their people just want simple laws in place to protect the environment, where many traditional Chinese still make their living. Nearly 60% of China's 1.3 billion people live in rural areas of the country. The rural areas are the ones that need to be protected the most.
China has shown that it wants to work on these problems. There are many pro green projects in the country that will greatly reduce the emissions of heavy industry. With more reliable and better policies in place China will soon be on a level with the rest of the worlds developed countries as far as pollution control goes.