Urbanization In China Essay

1315 words - 6 pages

Urbanization (or urbanisation) is the increasing number of people that live in urban areas. Urbanization has been the result of economic growth for most countries. In fact, every developed nation in the world has gone through urbanization and this is no news to Chinese leaders. To turn the nation of China from being a developing nation to a developed nation, China encouraged the migration of citizens from the countryside to move to large cities and fuel the industrializing nation. Though urbanization has been a process many countries have gone through, China’s urbanization plans are very distinct compared to western examples. The main reason for China’s urbanization distinctions is its sheer ...view middle of the document...

The development led to increase in manufacture and jobs available to Chinese citizens which in-turn led to an increase in production and export that rapidly fed the economy. Not only does the increase in export promote the economy, but the largely dense population increases the market opportunity for domestic consumerism (Seto, n.d.).
The benefits that urbanization brings do not come without environmental concerns and China’s is no exception. “Pan Yue, of China’s SEPA (State Environmental Protection Administration), explains,’ during the last two decades we (China’s government and leaders) were monomaniacal in our pursuit of development. That twisted policy (China’s strive for economic growth at all cost) put growth ahead of all else and caused us to neglect many other problems, like infrastructure, energy policy and the environment’.” (qtd. Caughey and Dawn). Simply put, China’s focus on economic growth was so great that leaders neglected to control pollutants that harmed the environment if it meant standing in the way of economic progress.
This blind-eye to the environmental impact China’s growth had would later make pollution one of its biggest concerns. Air pollution is China’s main environmental concern. Results from the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in 2004 showed that in 360 routinely checked cities, 70% do not meet suitable standards. The “gray sky” phenomenon is a big concern to the public (esa, 2006). The “gray sky” phenomenon has been a growing major concern for the public for many years. (Time, 2014) In 2001, the concentration of ambient fine particles (PM2.5), pollutant particles that lower visibility and pose health risks to people with respiratory ailments, children and elderly, were measured to be 110 µg m−3, more than seven times the air quality standard recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (esa, 2006).
Measurements taken in January this year in the Beijing area show density readings of PM2.5 pollutants exceeding 500 µg m−3, about 20 times what is considered safe by the World Health Organization (China to Tighten…, 2014). Though past plans to control air pollutions have been for the most part superficial, Zhang Dejiang (highly ranked official, Chairman of the Standing committee of the National People’s Congress), gave a 90 minute speech addressing the National People's Congress about both the public and his concerns about this issue. Zhang said that businesses were responsible for the environmental damage they caused and that they must be held accountable (The Huffington Post, 2014).
On March 16, 2014, China announced another urbanization plan. It was announced that some 109 million people would be relocated from the country side to cities. This seven-year plan will cost about 42-trillion Yuen or about 6.75 trillion USD. This money will be spent to rebuild infrastructures such as new roads and buildings to accommodate the relocated citizens. Funds are also being directed to accommodate the...

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