Soon end of Chinese Miracle? Interview with Pan Yue
From Spiegel online: "The Chinese Miracle Will End Soon"
SPIEGEL INTERVIEW WITH CHINA'S DEPUTY MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT
"The world has been dazzled in recent years by the economic strides being made by China. But it has come at a huge cost to the country's environment. Pollution is a serious and costly problem. Pan Yue of the ministry of the environment says these problems will soon overwhelm the country and will create millions of "environmental refugees.""
"SPIEGEL: But the economic growth fanatics in Beijing will still likely carry on just as before.
Pan: They're still playing the lead role -- for now. For them, the gross domestic product is the only yardstick by which to gauge the government's performance. But we are also making another mistake: We are convinced that a prospering economy automatically goes hand in hand with political stability. And I think that's a major blunder. The faster the economy grows, the more quickly we will run the risk of a political crisis if the political reforms cannot keep pace. If the gap between the poor and the rich widens, then regions within China and the society as a whole will become unstable. If our democracy and our legal system lag behind the overall economic development, various groups in the population won't be able to protect their own interests. And there's yet another mistake in this thinking....."