History has shown that as all countries industrialize and develop, they inevitably do so at the expense of their environment. China’s situation is no different.
Understanding that addressing its environmental problems is a matter of political and economic survival, the Chinese government is increasingly engaged in environmental protection and encouraging a culture of “going green,” and at a much earlier stage of development than the United States, Europe, or Japan. But the problems are many, and China cannot do it alone.
In an interdependent world, the United States both affects and is affected by China’s environmental problems: pollutants emitted by a factory in China that manufactures cheaper products for Americans often make their way back to America as dust and pollution. Americans can ill afford to merely sit by and criticize, or worse, assume that China’s environmental and energy issues are just “someone else’s problem." Both countries have a vested interest in solving China’s environmental problems.