The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future

The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future

by Elizabeth C. Economy

Paperback(A Council on Foreign Relations Book)

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Overview

The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future by Elizabeth C. Economy

China's spectacular economic growth over the past two decades has dramatically depleted the country's natural resources and produced skyrocketing rates of pollution. Environmental degradation in China has also contributed to significant public health problems, mass migration, economic loss, and social unrest. In The River Runs Black, Elizabeth C. Economy examines China's growing environmental crisis and its implications for the country's future development.

Drawing on historical research, case studies, and interviews with officials, scholars, and activists in China, Economy traces the economic and political roots of China's environmental challenge and the evolution of the leadership's response. She argues that China's current approach to environmental protection mirrors the one embraced for economic development: devolving authority to local officials, opening the door to private actors, and inviting participation from the international community, while retaining only weak central control. The result has been a patchwork of environmental protection in which a few wealthy regions with strong leaders and international ties improve their local environments, while most of the country continues to deteriorate, sometimes suffering irrevocable damage. Economy compares China's response with the experience of other societies and sketches out several possible futures for the country.


About the Author:
Elizabeth C. Economy is C. V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director, Asia Studies, at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is coeditor of China Joins the World: Progress and Prospects and The Internationalization of Environmental Protection. She has published articles and opinionpieces in Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the International Herald Tribune, among others. She consults regularly for the U.S. government on issues related to China and the environment and is a frequent television and radio commentator on U.S.-China relations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801489785
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 04/28/2005
Series: 8/27/2010
Edition description: A Council on Foreign Relations Book
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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