China’s drivers and planetary ecological collapse

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Date of Publication: December 13, 2017

Year of Publication: 2017

Publisher: World Economics Association

Author(s): Richard Smith

Journal: Real-World Economics Review

Volume: 82

Categories: , , ,

Richard Smith considers if China can be the ecological civilization Xi Jinping has promised. In exploring the built in drivers of excessive growth, over-production, over-construction, resource and energy waste, and pollution in China and the multiple barriers to change, Smith concludes:

“Xi Jinping can create an ecological civilization or he can build a rich superpower. He can’t do both. “

Abstract: Can China lead the fight against climate change? If not, why not? Richard Smith, drawing on his forthcoming book China’s Engine of Ecological Apocalypse (Verso, 2018) argues that the built-in drivers and barriers of China’s hybrid bureaucratic-collectivist capitalism severely limit President Xi Jinping’s options, rendering his ambitions impossible and reinforcing China’s role as the world’s leading driver of global warming and thus planetary ecological collapse.

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