China's Response on Global Economic and Environmental Issues

Review article

Željko Dragojević, PhD1

 

1 University Union – Nikola Tesla, Belgrade, Serbia; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Abstract

This paper consists of several parts that reflect the burning problems of the world: the stagnation of the world economy and a possible new economic crisis, as well as problems of a globally endangered environment. Although China has grown to become one of the leading, and according to some parameters,  the leading economy of the world, it is still a developing country. By internal measures, China has managed to mitigate the devastating effects of the recent global economic and financial crisis, and has given a number of proposals in order to forestall impending. The world operates on the principle of communicating vessels, which requires global action at the global level, because the identified problems can’t be addressed in particular. As a result of rapid development, China itself has suffered great consequences for their own environment. It is therefore taken a number of measures at national and international levels. Special emphasis is placed on innovation, i.e. new technologies with dual objectives: preserving a stable growth rate, while improving environmental protection. Economic growth, environment and innovation in the case of China make a “Holy Trinity”. China has put into focus sustainable development, but only on parallel grounds with preserving and improving the environment in its future development and actions at domestic and multilateral level.

Keywords: China, world economic crisis, finance, development, environment, innovations, global actions.

Introduction – Outlook on Chinese Economy  

For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences. After a period of self-isolation, MAO's successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. Since the 1970-s China has moved from a closed, centrally planned system to a more market-oriented one that plays a major global role. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP), China in 2017 stood as the largest economy in the world (GDP of $23.21 trillion), surpassing the US in 2014 for the first time in modern history. China became the world's largest exporter in 2010 and the largest trading nation in 2013. The goal is to quadruple GDP from 2000 until 20201. China has low unemployment rate: in last decade it is hovering around 4%. China recorded a surplus in trade balance over the last few decades with an astonishing $608 billion in 20152.

Who could have guessed only a decade ago, that the Chinese Lenovo would have purchased IBM’s PC unit, or the Swiss agricultural giant Syngenta, or that the almost anonymous Chinese automaker Geely would purchase the European giant Volvo from the Ford Motors Co. Still, China's per capita income is below the world average3.

In 2005 China moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. In 2015, the People’s Bank of China (PBC) announced it would continue to carefully push for full convertibility of the national currency– renminbi, after it was accepted as part of the IMF’s special drawing rights basket. Due to the sterilization most of the foreign currency by the Central Bank and an enormous surplus in the balance of payments, China’s foreign exchange reserves skyrocketed to almost USD 4.0 trillion in 2014 (3,24 trillion with gold in 2017).

The Chinese Economy faces some serious challenges, above all:

  • Coping with rising inflation. For the past few decades, the PBC has used yuan to buy dollars, and then has sterilized the money supply by selling bonds to retire yuan from circulation to maintain stability in prices and exchange rates. If the sterilization ceased, a glut of yuan would flood the economy. On the other hand, the FED’s quantitative easing partly contributes to China’s inflation. As trillions of dollars were injected into the global market, the world commodity prices, including petroleum and agricultural products, have been boosted. As the largest importer of commodities, China is inevitably faced with cost-push inflationary pressure;
  • reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic consumption;
  • facilitating higher-wage job opportunities for the aspiring middle class, including rural migrants and college graduates;
  • reducing industrial overcapacity;   
  • raising productivity growth rates through the more efficient allocation of capital.

Economic development has made greater progress in coastal provinces than in the interior, and by 2014 more than 274 million migrant workers and their dependents had relocated to urban areas to find work! Deterioration of the environment: air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady decline in the water table, especially in the North - is another long-term problem. China continues to lose arable land due to erosion and economic development. The Chinese Authorities are transforming an economy based on conventional energy sources towards nuclear and alternative energy development. In 2016, China ratified the Paris Agreement, a multilateral agreement to combat climate change, and committed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions between 2025 and 2030.



World Economic and Financial Crisis

Before the outbreak of the World Economic and Financial Crisis, the US central bank (FED) ignored the serious warnings of the governor of the People's Bank of China (PBC) on the conducting of "irresponsible policies"4. Namely, the hoarding of dollar claims in most countries in the monetary reserves, allowed the FED in that, thanks to the mass of dollars in foreign exchange reserves of other countries, too long holding interest rates low, which encouraged "inflatable balloon" at the real estate market.

Let us remind an avalanche which started with the bankruptcy of one of the leading investment banks in the US, Lehman Brothers, in September 2008. The loss of confidence caused a drop in liquidity in the interbank market. Liquidity has declined, and banks have increased the interest spread on loans to each other. Price risk in the world economy sharply increased. Downturn in stock markets ranged from 40-60%. Global trade imbalance was one of the factors of the economic crisis. A large deficit and dependence on Western countries (primarily the US) from capital of Asian countries has triggered the offer of innovative financial instruments, which ushered World in the global financial and economic crisis. After the outbreak of the crisis, international trade recorded a sharp decline, with a higher fall in production than in trade, an above-average drop in trade in capital and durable consumer goods, with significant interferences in the international supply chains.

Statistical data show that the decline in regional trade during the global financial crisis was milder than the drop in trade between the world regions (table 1). It was one of the reasons for the slowdown of the Chinese economy, i.e. reducing the rate of growth from an impressive 10% to 6-7% per year. Considering that the EU market, along with the United States, is of highest importance for Chinese exports, China has responded with the launch of the "New Silk Road" initiative, cooperation with the central European countries, as well as the majority takeover of one of the largest ports, Piraeus in Greece.

The trade imbalance can be considered as an important factor which contributed to the deepening crisis. The main causes of the previous global economic crisis are contained in:

  • imbalances due to the current account deficit (the US, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Portugal). High budget and balance of payments deficits of the United States and a number of EU countries,
  • repatriation of capital,
  • overvaluation of assets in the balance sheets of banks and other investors, which are manifested by extraction of the investment bubble (the sale of securities). A good example was the mortgage loans in the United States. Uncollectibility of loans due to falling real estate prices and rising interest rates led to large losses of insurance companies (Mortgage-backed-security).
  • very low benchmark interest rates of the FED and the ECB at the beginning of the century (from negative to 1%), which caused a credit boom in developed countries. The availability of capital has contributed to the occurrence of investment bubbles. It turned out that few employees were aware of the banks’ balance sheets, much less with the financial health of the companies in which they invested.

 

Figure 1. World Export 2005-2009 (Source: Bijelić P, 2001, International Trade, p 66, School of Economics, University of Belgrade).

 

Table 1. Trade according World regions (annual change in %).

 

According to Chinese expert predictions, the world is again on the brink of a global crisis. Major economies are respectively plagued by different woes: the Eurozone is confronted with a free-falling sovereign debt, leading potentially to a full-fledged financial crisis; the United States is suffering from intractably high unemployment that shows some recovery under the new Administration. Immediate action is needed to stop the global economy from falling into an abyss. But the challenge is how - Launching a grand bailout for the broken coffers of Southern Europe? Expanding government spending or conducting an austerity campaign? Carrying out another round of quantitative easing in the industrial countries while squeezing the money supply in emerging markets? Unlike the situation immediately after the 2008 financial collapse, when it was possible to have globally synchronized policies such as a universal fiscal stimulus and simultaneous liquidity provisions, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to address the intricate issues currently facing the major economies5.

The foremost urgent global problem is the emergence of a full-scale financial crisis in the Eurozone. This is coming from the interdependency of sovereign debt woes in Southern European countries and bad assets in European banks. Due to the fact that almost all major European banks are heavily exposed to toxic peripheral country sovereign debts, sovereign debt troubles and bank insolvency will end up exacerbating each other. This creates a vicious cycle which may doom the entire European financial system and the Euro itself.

The situation on the other side of the Atlantic is anything but promising. Even though the economy started to climb again, the recovery is very weak. Despite the unprecedented stimulus campaign accommodated by the FED’s quantitative easing, job creation is still stagnant. On the other hand, public spending closed to staggering $7 trillion (4,06 federal, 1,86 state and 1,73 local) in 2017, reaching a total federal debt of $19.5 trillion, which makes the U.S. the most heavily indebted nation in the developed world6. The real danger is that such huge government spending has resulted in little economic growth. That is what provokes initiatives for the return of production to the US and new high military supplies to Middle East.



China’s Response to the Economic and Financial Crisis

The Asian countries led by China, after the crisis at the end of the twentieth century, have changed the patterns of economic development: with reducing current account deficits, eventually turning them into surpluses, keeping their currency at undervalued levels in order to stimulate exports, reducing reliance on foreign capital, and increased savings being used to invest abroad: in the real and financial sectors. China weathered the global economic crisis better than most other countries. In November 2008, the State Council unveiled a CNY 4.0 trillion (USD 585 billion) stimulus package in an attempt to shield the country from the worst effects of the financial crisis. The global downturn and the subsequent slowdown in demand did, however, severely affect the export sector and the current account surplus has continued to decline years after the financial crisis.

In addition to the aforementioned fundamental challenges, China currently faces and shares numerous global economic problems. On the demand side, the gloomy perspective of Europe and the U.S. puts downward pressure on China’s growth since they are the most important markets for China exports, directly accounting for 1/3 of China’s total exports and over ½ indirectly. On the supply side, big state companies have easy access to credit with the current financial system, but small and medium enterprises (SME) are in a pinch, even though the latter

provides the majority of jobs and accounts for half of China’s national products. As the matter stands, rising prices coupled with a slowdown in growth hints at a real danger of stagflation with Chinese characteristics.

In addition to the above mentioned challenges, there are some long-term structural problems as: the reliance on exports and resource-intensive manufacturing as major drivers of economic growth; the relatively slow progress in China’s innovative capabilities, and the massive air and water pollution throughout the country.

Faced with these challenges, Chinese authorities have undertaken a series of policies to combat rising inflation and maintain economic stability in the form of:

  • tightening monetary policy to curb liquidity,
  • the Chinese government issuing property market regulations to cope with the property bubble by raising the down payment requirement and prohibiting speculative purchases,
  • a large-scale campaign of constructing 10 million units of low-income rental apartments nationwide (allowing banks to provide debt financing with preferential rates),
  • a free compulsory education plan for all children, and expansion of both health care coverage for rural residents and social security for urban low-income earners.

China has also started to promote the development of strategic emerging industries. In all, seven major industry clusters were identified: energy saving and protection of the environment, the next generation of information technology, new materials, alternative energies, clean cars, biotech and high value-added manufacturing, in order to increase their share of China’s GDP from just a few percent to 15 percent by 2020.



Global Environmental Problems

Global environmental problems are: protection and sustainable use of land, protection and sustainable use of water resources, protection and sustainable use of biodiversity and forests, climate change, ozone layer damage, hazardous substances and hazardous waste7. Renewable energy sources are an active, positive environmental factor.

The main factor affecting the future of the global environment is China's ability to develop economically without causing serious and irreversible environmental damage. China, with 1.4 billion inhabitants, uses about 11 percent of global commercial energy and emits about 14 percent of global CO2 emissions. As a result of the rapid growth of industrial and agricultural production, China faces an environmental and health crisis. From air pollution (diseases of respiratory organs which affect up to 300,000 people per year), to polluted rivers and loss of arable land8.

Regarding water related issues, two problems arise as basic issues: water which enables life on Earth and soil pollution and erosion. Nevertheless, water pollution and water shortage are traditionally two of the most important environmental problems in China9.

The challenges of water management are tied in with Earth’s ever-growing population and mankind’s inability to ensure all facets of water use, let alone integrated water management, under climate change conditions and in circumstances of major social issues and changes. Water management strategies  largely depend on the economic power of the country in question and the availability of water resources. Of all fresh surface water resources on our planet, rivers and lakes hold only 0.3%10.

Water management is predetermined and mostly depends on four drivers: strength of the economy, renewable water resources, climate change and effective governance (criteria of six groups of countries). According to that criteria (GDP 4-10K US$ per capita and modest-to-abundant water resources - more than 1000 m3 per capita per year), China with its 8,5 K US$ per capita belongs to a group of transition countries. Figure 2. shows the water management system.

 

Figure 2. Detailed schematic representation of water management (Source: Dimkić and Milovanovic, 2014).

 

The availability of renewable water resources is a crucial driver of water management. It is quantified as the sum of domestic water resources (within a country) and transboundary water resources. Loading per unit volume of renewable water resources by the population and products of economic activity is also extremely important. In essence, this can affect:

  • Water protection and water use criteria;
  • The nature of water management (centralized or decentralized);
  • Technical solutions (leading-edge, simple, relying on natural purification, etc.);
  • The water management system setup11.

 

China’s Environmental Challenges and Response

China is the most populated country in the world, but has relatively little fertile land, and even less water. China's spectacular economic growth of even 10% annually in the last few decades has had severe ramifications for the natural environment. There has been a dramatic increase in the demand for natural resources of all kinds, including water, land and energy. Forest resources have been depleted, triggering a range of devastating secondary impacts such as desertification and flooding. Bad management and poorly regulated industrial and household emissions and waste have caused levels of water and air pollution to skyrocket. This is making China one of the world's leading contributors to regional and global environmental problems, including acid rain - mainly resulting from sulfur dioxide emissions as a result of coal burning, ozone depletion, global climate change, and biodiversity loss.

China's overwhelming reliance on coal for its energy needs has made its air quality among the worst in the world. It is already stated that respiratory diseases affect up to 300,000 people annually!

A study for 878 rivers conducted throughout the 1980s, have clearly indicated that even 82% were polluted to some degree. More than 5% of rivers were fishless, while over twenty waterways were unusable for agricultural irrigation due to pollution12. Since then, China's scarce water resources are being depleted with its brisk economic development. Figure 3. have shown the relative scarcity of water courese, especially in the north-west part of China.

 

Figure 3. Water system of China (1) Songua River, (2) Liaohe River, (3) Haihe River, (4) Yellow River, (5) Huaihe River, (6) Yangtze River, (7) Pearl River, (8) Dontin River, (9) Boyana Lake, (10) Chaou Lake, (11) Bohai Lake, (12) Dalian Bay, (13) Jinzhou Bay, (14) Yantau Bay.

 

A major source of water pollution is industrial waste from paper mills, chemical plants, etc. The main pollutants are: phenols, oils, cyanides and heavy metals. The result is that more than three-quarters of the water flowing through China's urban areas is considered unsuitable for drinking or fishing! About 180 million people drink contaminated water on a daily basis. According to the Ministry of Agriculture almost 20% of agricultural and poultry products in major industrial and mining districts and in areas irrigated with water containing excessive levels of contamination.

Lakes present another serious problem, where water levels have decreased rapidly due to a drier climate, unsustainable practices and mismanagement.  It is followed by widespread soil erosion due to destruction of vegetation cover. Unwise activities during the “cultural revolution” during which lakes were filled with soil to create arable land, which in turn exacerbated the situation and left permanent consequences. Dongting and Boyang lakes, the largest in the country, which has diminished by 42%, suffered a similar fate. The lakes lost their function in flood prevention, shipping, aquatic production and water supply13.  

 

Table 2. Distribution of water resources in China (Source: Wang J, Academia Sinica, ibid p.855).

 

According universal professional measures shown in Figure 2, China’s response to water pollution control and management was establishing the National Environmental Protection Bureau (comprehensive measures for the protection of the various environment problems as outlined below). Each province and city has its own environmental office. Enterprises and factories have environmental protection offices. When a new factory is built, wastewater treatment facilities must be constructed at the same time.

Table 2, clearly shows two key indicators. Although China has tremendously increased its GDP and per capita to around 8,5K in last decades (measured by PPP even more), with its average abundance of water resources as of 2.000 m3 per capita per year, it belongs to the 2-nd group of countries (GDP 4-10K US$ per capita and modest-to-abundant water resources (more than 1000 m3 per capita annually)14. Those countries are in economic progress and in transition from the water depletion phase to the sustainable water management phase (transition countries). Secondly, the condition is exacerbated by the uneven abundance and distribution of water, which as shown, are exposed to severe pollution.

A separate report claimed that 16% of the country’s land is polluted. Soil pollution came from: agricultural and industrial activities as well as from urbanization. Pollution from agricultural activities stems primarily from excessive amounts of pesticides and fertilizers used on farmland, and are mainly located in the south, where most of the food is produced. Pollution from industrial activities is due to the precipitation of airborne industrial pollutants onto the soil and is mainly located in the west of the country, where most manufacturing activities take place. Pollution from urbanization is located around the largest cities and is mainly due to the very large amount of solid, liquid and gaseous waste generated in a small area with insufficient treatment facilities and vehicle exhaust fumes. The result is that the land size of Taiwan is so polluted that farming should not be permitted15.

Waste water irrigation is one of the main causes of soil pollution. Water sources in China are as said, highly uneven, which results in an imbalanced water availability for irrigation. The Yangtze and Pearl River basins, with over 70% of the national water resources, produces only 40% of the grain yield, while on the other hand, 50% of the grain comes from northern China with only 20% of water resources. Therefore, farmers have had to use wastewater to irrigate their farmland. One third of the industrial effluent, and over 90% of untreated domestic sewage is discharged into rivers and lakes16.

Greenpeace has examined official statistics to conclude that the iron and steel industries are the largest contributors to cadmium and lead pollution in China17.

More than one-quarter of China's territory is now desert. Globally, China is one of the world's largest contributors to ozone depletion, biodiversity loss, and climate change. Estimations of environmental economists are that the total cost to the Chinese economy resulting from environmental degradation and resource scarcity is 8%-12% of GDP annually.

This situation doesn’t mean that the Chinese leadership is ignoring the challenge of environmental protection. The right to breathe clean air, to access clean water, to participate in the decision-making process on industrial development or public works projects that affect their livelihood, and to secure justice when these rights are violated were not available to all. That’s why Chinese authorities and legislators in 2014 have passed comprehensive measures and laws18 to the country’s environmental protection over the last 25 years.

Domestically, the Chinese leadership has developed the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), the State Development and Planning Commission, the State Economic and Trade Commission and the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee (EPNRC). Chinese scientists estimated that China ought to spend at least 2% of GDP annually on environmental protection (around 240 billion USD annually), merely to keep the situation from deteriorating further. Authorities have shifted environmental responsibility to Local Government. Moreover, “local officials may be demoted or sacked, if they are guilty of misconduct, including covering up environment-related wrongdoing”. On the legislative side, numerous environmental protection laws and administrative regulations have been implemented.

Multilaterally, China has opened the door to the involvement of non-governmental organizations such as: Environmental Defense, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the World Wildlife Fund and the media concerning issues related to environmental protection. They encourage and empower participation of non-governmental organizations, even international governmental organizations and multinationals in shaping China's environmental practices. China is the largest recipient of environmental aid from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Global Environmental Facility and Japan. These actions are aimed at extensive projects to introduce new policy and approaches to environmental protection on issues as wide ranging as organic farming, energy efficiency, and tradable permits for sulfur dioxide.



China at the Top of Hi-tech Innovation Leading Countries

China has launched numerous innovations in order to stay abreast with its economy growth rate. Chinese researchers recently reported a breakthrough in increasing the usage rate of uranium materials from current 1 % to more than 95 percent. The new system (ADANES) would reduce the nuclear waste to less than 4 % of the spent fuel, reducing the radioactivity half-life of waste from hundreds of thousands of years to about 500 years. China’s strategy is to develop clean, efficient, safe and reliable nuclear energy to secure the country's economic and social sustainable development. The final goal is to replace the country’s reliance on coal which has had a highly negative impact on environment. Chinese scientists at the Hefei Institute of Physics announced that temperatures in the Fusion EAST reactor have reached higher temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius, which is six times higher than that of the Sun. The fusion reactor would not pollute the environment and would be an affordable and almost inexhaustible source of energy19.

China is building up the Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory 4.4 kilometers above sea level, modeled on already existing, world's largest 500-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope in the Guizhou Province, which attracted 220,000 visitors on Labor Day alone. The facility which is located in a remote region may become a pillar of the local science tourism industry.

In the traffic industry, China has become one of the leading countries in maglev (levitation) trains as well in solar-powered unmanned aircraft reaching an altitude of over 20,000 meters. China is now capable of building the world's first underwater vacuum tube train, a futuristic form of transportation that can achieve supersonic speed and reduce airborne noise. A 10-kilometer underwater vacuum tunnel in Zhejiang Province, when built, would become the world's first underwater vacuum tunnel, cutting travel time between Fujian and Taipei - located 180 kilometres apart - to just 13 minutes.

China is already testing its manned submersible Jiaolong which reached its deepest point of 7,062 meters in the Mariana Trench. China will also launch a few manned missions with Shenzhou spacecraft from 2019 - 2022 to build a space station.
All these and numerous other projects and innovations will not only boost China’s economy, but rather turn it into another locomotive in the world economy. Many of such projects rely on international cooperation.



China’s Proposals for Global Cooperative Actions

It is evident that the world is facing some seriously complex global challenges. Now, it’s quite obvious to all, that the questions of sustainable development including sophisticated innovations can’t be separated from environmental issues.

Regarding future world economy development, it’s also obvious that additional fiscal stimulus and loose quantitative easing will not help lessen the possibilities for a new crisis. On the contrary, they may accelerate its burst and later exacerbate the macroeconomic environment. In that sense, China’s proposals to avoid or diminish a new crisis suggests that the world must work together in order to contain a financial crisis in Europe. Above all, in order to prevent the international monetary system from permanent damage caused by either the monetization of troubled sovereign debts or the collapse of the euro system. It is also urgent to formulate local public polices with global considerations to resume the long path of economic growth in the developed world and to cope with inflation in the developing countries.

It is necessary to find a creative way to solve the European crisis. An alternative model of cooperation between the European authorities and global market investors can address the current financial woes. China’s experts propose united efforts of European governments and allied long-term global investors, including Western private investment firms and Asian public fund institutions, like China’s SAFE and CIC, Singapore’s GIC and many others, to strengthen the trembling European financial system. In order to facilitate this plan, they suggest that the European authorities pursue the following steps in advance:

  • enlarge the rescue fund, restructure debts and promote the Eurobond plan to assure investors,
  • adopt the model of a resolution trust company (RTC) to separate bad bank assets from good ones for European banks,
  • collectively engage with cash-rich long-term investors, including Asian and Chinese investors for terms and conditions of involvement,
  • enhance transparency of bank balances and off-balances;

Regarding the U.S. economy, it is estimated that massive government spending alone will not create enough jobs nor unprecedented quantitative easing. Persistent negative externalities caused by these measures loom because together they have driven up commodity prices worldwide and undermined the global trust in the dollar. They put into question the Keynesian stimulus as the Panacea, which has done nothing to mobilize internal sources of growth.

They suggest the following measures:

  • exit the zero rate policy to reflect the price of capital correctly and lift the glut of easy money (accepted by the administration of president Trump),
  • cultivate predictable expectations for long-term business investment,
  • reform the entitlement system to reduce the fiscal burden, with restructuring the tax system to broaden its base and reward capital investment,
  • open up doors for foreign direct investment in businesses and eliminate structural barricades to such investments.

For China itself, they suggest that Authorities should set dual goal measures to control inflation while maintaining growth at an acceptable pace. The core of these tools is to treat SME-s fairly in terms of bank lending, explicit taxes, implicit fees and surcharges, and other financial burdens. They estimate that keeping these firms afloat in a harsh economic climate is crucially important for employment and growth. The PBC has a high degree of freedom to usher interest rates to ward off inflation, while letting banks have autonomy to select efficient clients and manage risks. Policy may reduce burdens for SME-s by simplifying tax practices.

As for the social programs, especially big ones with long-term effects, the recent bankruptcy lessons of welfare systems in many industrial countries should be kept in mind for policymakers. It is an unsustainable model that is not worth copying. Even though some programs may win political gains in the short term, the society will eventually pay the cost. They suggest that the right way to maintain sustained harmony and durable stability is to give people more economic freedom while constructing a framework of the rule of law, but not create an almighty government. In contrast to the new US administration, China and Germany remain patrons of free trade in the world and not closing in own and/or regional blocks.

While China is still categorized as a developing country it is confronted with the dual task of developing the economy and protecting the environment at the same time. In the process of promoting its overall modernization program it has made environmental protection one of its basic national policies, embraced the realization of sustainable development as an important strategy and has implemented large-scale measures for pollution prevention and control as well as ecological environment protection throughout the country. While making great efforts to protect its own environment, it has taken an active part in international environmental affairs, striven to promote international cooperation in the field of environmental protection, and earnestly fulfilled its international obligations.

China is accelerating progress in environmental science and technology. After the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, China put forward serious measures clearly pointing out that the road of sustainable development was a logical choice for China at present and in the future. China has adopted its own Agenda 21 - White Paper on China's Population, Environment, and Development in the 21st Century.

Through the strategy of ''relying on science and education to rejuvenate the nation'', the research spectrum of environmental science and technology has been steadily broadened. The numbers of research institutes and personnel engaged in environmental protection have been steadily increasing. Higher education has provided a great number of scientific, technological and managerial personnel for environmental protection work. Leading universities, include Beijing University, Qinghua University, the People's University of China, Nanjing University, Tongji University, etc., which all have departments in environmental studies. The new emerging-environmental protection industry has been fostered. It involves the development of technology, manufacturing of products, circulation of commodities, utilization of resources, provision of information, and undertaking of contracted projects.

China plays an active role in the UN Environment Program. Through the years it has passed on its experiences and techniques on controlling desertification and building ecological agriculture to many countries. China always conscientiously carries out its responsibilities for international environmental conventions and agreements which it has signed, like Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and Paris Climate Agreement. Moreover, along with promotion and cooperation in global environmental protection, China expresses willingness to enhance cooperation with the international community in peaceful space exploration and development of new breakthrough technologies as a common task of mankind.

 

Acknowledgment

Special gratitude to Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, for referrals to relevant sites and papers at summits of G-20 and some innovations.


References

Delang C. (2017). “Causes and distribution of soil pollution in China”, Environmental & Socio-economic Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Dimkić  M. and M. Milovanović (2014). “Water  Management in transition countries, Milankovitch Anniversary UNESCO Symposium – Water Management in Transition Countries as Impacted by Climate Change and Other Global Changes, Lessons from Paleoclimate and Regional

Issues, Belgrade, Jaroslav Cerni Institute for the development of water resources & Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts ISBN 978-86-82565-42-0

Dragojevic Z. (2010). "Preconditions of the enterprise's  competitiveness at the globalized World  Market", Belgrade, "Capital Policy” (Poslovna politika) no. 1-2, ISSN 0350-2236;

Greenpeace (2014). "Cadmium rice":  heavy metal pollution of China’s rice crops. http://www.greenpeace. org/eastasia/publications/reports/toxics/2014/cadmium-rice-heavy-metal/

Harris J.M. (2009). „Ekonomija životne sredine i prirodnih resursa“, Bgd, Datastatus drugo izdanje (in Serbian)

Todić D. (2008). „Saveremena politika i pravo životne sredine“, Belgrade, Megatrend Univerzitet;

Qiao Y.U. and X. Lan (2011). Responding to Global Economic Challenges: A View from China, Think tank 20, Beyond Macroeconomic Policy Coordination Discussions in the G-20, Brookings, Washington DC

Wang J. (1989), “Water pollution and water shortage problems in China”, Research Centre for Environment sciences, Academia Sinica, Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol.26,no.3, British Ecological Society;

Xinhua Agency, news

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/

www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/25/china-strengthens-environmental-laws-polluting-factories

http://www.focus-economics.com/countries/china

www.b92.net/zivot/nauka: Naučnici na korak od beskonačne energije (Science Alert);


1  Xinhua News Agency, 09.nov.2002;

2  http://www.focus-economics.com/countries/china

3  GDP (official exchange rate) is: $12.01 trillion in 2017;

4  Dragojevic Z (2010) "Preconditions of the enterprise's competitiveness at the globalized World  Market", Belgrade, "Capital Policy” (Poslovna politika) no. 1-2, ISSN 0350-2236, pp..15;

5  Qiao YU, Lan Xue: Think tank 20, Beyond Macroeconomic Policy Coordination Discussions in the G-20

6  http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/

7  See: Todić D (2008): „Saveremena politika i pravo životne sredine“, Bgd, Megatrend Univerzitet;

8  Harris Jonathan M (2009), „Ekonomija životne sredine i prirodnih resursa“, Bgd, Datastatus drugo izd.,p.459;

Wang Jusi (1989), “Water pollution and water shortage problems in China”, Research Centre for Environment sciences, Academia Sinica, Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol.26,no.3, British Ecological Society, p.851;

10  See: Dimkić, Milovanović (2014), “Water Management in transition countries, Milankovitch Anniversary UNESCO Symposium – Water Management in Transition Countries as Impacted by Climate Change and Other Global Changes, Lessons from Paleoclimate and Regional Issues, Belgrade, Jaroslav Černi Institute for the development of water resources & Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, pp.16-18, ISBN 978-86-82565-42-0

11  For more, see: Dimkić, Milovanović (2014), “Water  Management in transition countries”, ibid p.25;

12  Wang J, ibid p.851;

13  Wang J, ibid p.853;

14  See Dimkić, Milanović, six group of countries (division acc. per capita income & abundance of water),p.19;

15  Delang Claudio (2017), “Causes and distribution of soil pollution in China”, Environmental & Socio-economic Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, p.1;

16  Ibid, pp. 7-8;

17  Greenpeace 2014  (April).  "Cadmium rice":  heavy  metal pollution  of  China's rice  crops. http://www.greenpeace. org/eastasia/publications/reports/toxics/2014/cadmium-rice-heavy-metal/;

18  Detailed: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/25/china-strengthens-environmental-laws-polluting-factories

19  Science Alert, Scientists are on the move from infinite energy (Nov 2018) www.b92.net/zivot/nauka.