By Jingrong Tong (auth.)
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Additional resources for Investigative Journalism, Environmental Problems and Modernisation in China
Third, local governments were also identified as “environmental problems generators”, as they granted permission for the construction and operation of industrial projects or recognised and accredited the effectiveness of the environmental protection measures taken by them. In doing so, they tried to convince local residents that no harm would be caused by these projects. But after the outbreaks of these protests, local governments chose to give up global investors in the face of strong public disapproval of these factories.
The second challenge is that when more and more global actors are involved as environmental problem generators, environmental protection becomes an issue that goes beyond national boundaries. The entry of China into the WTO has worsened the environmental challenges facing the country (Jahiel 2006). Along with the deepening of globalisation, global corporations and institutions have become part of China’s ecological modernisation, partly accounting for the deterioration of the environment (Sonnenfeld and Mol 2002).
The National Environmental Protection Law was enacted in 1979 and revised in 1989. Environmental protection was defined as a policy at the national level in 1984. A wide range of regulations and policies were passed in the 1980s which offered a sound foundation for China’s environmental protection (Qu 2010). The recent changes in environmental policies reflect the state’s aim of sustainable development as a response to the long-lasting challenges the ecological system poses for its economic development (Zhang, Mol et al.