Pollution Highlights the Price China Is Paying for Rapid Development
Beijing has developed into an impressive modern city over the past two decades. But a tourist visiting the Chinese capital over the past four days would have difficulty seeing many of its ancient and modern landmarks because of the horrendous pollution hanging over the city. An editorial in The China Daily warned the country had to balance development with quality of life. “In the middle of a rapid urbanization process, it is urgent for China to think about how such a process can press forward without compromising the quality of urban life with an increasingly worse living environment,” said the editorial.
China’s leaders do seem to increasingly understand the problem, and during his address to the Communist Party Congress last November outgoing President Hu Jintao warned that the country needed to “reverse the trend of ecological deterioration and build a beautiful China.” The state-controlled Global Times even urged the government to “publish truthful environmental data to the public” and take measures to solve the pollution problem in China, which it called the “biggest construction site in the world.”