The Environment and Economy: An Emerging Balance in China Essay example

2118 Words 9 Pages
Since the very inception of China’s history, economic progress has been the nation’s top priority. The Chinese government has always stressed to its citizens that they will be rewarded with perpetual economic growth insofar as social stability and respect for the party-state are maintained. While this system has enabled China to develop further, bringing about many shared benefits, it has also proven to have detrimental impacts on the environment. For some time, the issue of environmental degradation was of no concern because the nation was experiencing such tremendous growth and as a result, a higher standard of living. However, China is currently embracing a paradigm shift in its priorities, as citizens have pressured the central …show more content…
The foremost deputy director of the Chinese State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), Pan Yue, issued an official report in 2006, highlighting China’s “Green GDP”; he predicted “China’s economic miracle” would soon come to an end because the environment could “no longer keep peace” (6). The report conveyed that industrial and commercial pollution were responsible for an equivalent of $64 billion in damage across China, accounting for 3.05% of the year’s GDP (6). Complementary to Pan’s report, one of China’s premier environmental officials, Zhou Shengxian, also released a report identifying the ramifications of “51,000 pollution-related protests”, which all occurred in 2005 (6). Pan Yue, now the Vice Minster of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, remained confident that these findings would one day help persuade the central government to re-evaluate its economic strategy, and the recent completion of the Third Party Plenum may prove him right. Over three decades ago, a historic plenum initiated China’s unbridled economic growth through institutional reforms, which in turn transformed the nation into a dominating global force. However, this transformation also brought with it a multiplicity of environmental issues and the central government has recently just met in

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