Media Perspectives on the Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) Crisis in China

  • Yifan Zhang
Part of the Communication, Culture and Change in Asia book series (CCCA, volume 6)


China became the second biggest economy of the world by the beginning of the 2010s. Traditionally, in Taoism, the saints taught the oneness of nature and human beings. In Confucianism, there was also an emphasis on the harmony of humanity and nature; Mahayana Buddhism in China also mentions the essential karmic relations between humans and the environment. Fast development changed the backward image of China and in parallel improved the living quality of most ordinary Chinese people. Nevertheless, this fast-growing economy also witnessed the exploitation of natural resources and environmental pollution in China. As early as the 1980s, Chinese government already proposed the policy on sustainable development, but the growth-orientated mind-set overwhelmed the effect of this sustainable development policy. In 2013, ‘fog and haze’ became part of daily vocabulary in China and people became increasingly concerned about the index of PM 2.5, and anti-haze products were sold out quickly in the real market and online. Chai Jing, a CCTV journalist, who made a documentary film called ‘Under the Dome’ in 2015, attracted 200 millions viewer in a short period. But it was banned by the Publicity Department of the Chinese Communist Party. Individuals and organizations have had to fight on their own to raise awareness among the public through different informal channels. In reality, the popularity of various social media such as Weibo and WeChat enables people, especially the younger generation, to express their opinions and share information very quickly despite the restriction of the state media on environmental problems.


Communication Culture Chinese philosophy Ecology in china Sustainable development in china 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

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