Following the presentation ofChina's Agenda XXIin 1994, the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei began a fruitful collaboration with the SSTC (State Science and Technology Commission) on Natural Resource Accounting of the People's Republic of China. Among other initiatives, the Fondazione organised a seminar held in Beijing in March 1996, entitled "Resources Accounting in China". This volume brings together 11 papers as the result ofthat seminar. Our main attempt was to compare approaches and knowledge of specific issues in this area. As far as the approach is concerned there appear to be some interesting comparisons to be drawn considering the authors' different fields of expenence. Seven papers are written by Chinese participants and four by visiting experts from the West. All the Chinese contributions point out the importance of the environment in economic development and a determination to measure the effects as a means to successful management of natural resources. They concentrate on rather specific issues within the constraints of the prevailing economic conditions where identification and pricing of assets tend to be specified by administrative norms. Although the general framework of the Chinese approach tends to be scientific and administrative, all papers contain interesting and useful statistical information. The papers by visiting experts also stress the importance of taking into account environmental aspects in deriving indicators relating to economic development. In contrast to the Chinese contributions, however, they tend to be more abstract and more clearly based on economic theory.