Environmental Activism in China

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Environmental Activism in China I. Introduction China witnesses rapid economic growth after the economic reform in 1978. This economic development brings people great wealth and also a huge cost on the environment. Water and air pollution are among most serious environmental problems, others like soil retrogression and degradation, deforestation, and human health problems coming with these issues are becoming more severe too. In addition, due to China’s biggest population on earth, the impact of these pollutions goes beyond border and becomes a global issue too. However, there is comfort to know that western developed countries like United States, United Kingdom and Japan have been through serious environmental issues too and are able to reverse them. This method is interpreted as “pollute first, control later” in Chinese context, which means environmental cost is inevitable when developing Chinese economy, and measures would be taken towards this environmental cost later with a more solid economic base than before. II. From Small Cities to Metropolitans Now China’s achievements in economic growth are well known to the whole world, as well as a high environmental cost. Tianying, China, a small city that might appear unfamiliar to most native Chinese, is known by environmentalists for its place among the worst cities of lead poisoning. Also in the watch list is Linfen, China, a city always in thick grey or even black fog, is so polluted that would never
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