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Desertification in China: Problems with Policies and Perceptions

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Part of the Environmental Politics and Theory book series (EPT)

Abstract

China’s environmental crisis has attracted global concern in recent years. More international attention has been drawn to urban industrial-based water and air pollution due to their dramatic effects and their increasing contribution to the global store of greenhouse gases (Becker 2004, Choking on Growth series 2007). The information on the death of River Huai (Economy 2005) and the alarming images of algae pollution in Lake Tai cannot but make people alarmed. In comparison, rural land degradation, or “slow deaths” of the ecosystem, has not attracted as much attention, except in areas where moving sand has been swallowing human settlement (such as in Minqin of Gansu province). In reality, not only has rural environmental degradation been long standing, it has had a far-reaching effect on the livelihood and economy of China’s rural residents, which accounts for about 65 percent of China’s total population. The international significance of rural land degradation in dryland China cannot be overlooked either, as the dust blown from degraded dryland has contributed directly to dust storms in eastern Asia, as well as air pollution in the western part of the United States.

Keywords

  • Gross Domestic Product
  • Chinese Government
  • Chinese Communist Party
  • Grassland Degradation
  • Ecological Construction

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

I am grateful to the editors of this volume, Joel Kassiola and Sujian Guo, for their enthusiastic support and constructive suggestions. I thank the anonymous reviewer of the volume for providing helpful comments. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Wengen Workshop on Climate Change and Desertifi cation in Wengen, Switzerland, September 10–13, 2007, funded by the Institute for Environment and Sustainability of European Commission.

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© 2010 Joel Jay Kassiola and Sujian Guo

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Jiang, H. (2010). Desertification in China: Problems with Policies and Perceptions. In: Kassiola, J.J., Guo, S. (eds) China’s Environmental Crisis. Environmental Politics and Theory. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230114364_2

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