Written by Martin Thorley.

The question of China’s natural environment has the potential to become the country’s defining issue over the next years and decades. Previously dismissed as a non-mainstream concern, the rapid deterioration of the environment has forced the issue to the top table and it is now considered a topic that has bearing on questions surrounding economic development and even the Chinese model of governance. Over the course of this week, contributors will explore the environment in China from a number of different standpoints.

Han Zhaoqing offers background by considering the evolution of environmental history in China as a subject. Matthew Currell offers a closer look at China’s groundwater woes, suggesting that the issue has ramifications that go far beyond China’s borders. Sarah Rogers offers us insight from her work on the Loess Plateau, investigating adaption strategies in rural regions in the face of climate change. Kevin Deluca and Elizabeth Brunner consider the arena of social media in terms of environmental protests. They extrapolate their findings to ask pertinent questions of the relationship between activism and the online sphere. Judith Shapiro offers a timely review of the state of ENGOs given the changing environment in which they operate. And finally, Xinsheng Liu and Ren Mu assess changing public attitudes toward the environment in China and ask what this means for the future.

We hope that you enjoy this special issue of CPI: Analysis. You can follow us on twitter or facebook to keep up to date with news from CPI: Analysis.


Martin Thorley is a PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham and an editorial assistant for the CPI: Analysis blog.

Image Credit: CC by 勇/Yong 赵/Zhao/Flickr.