Ongoing economic modernization has expanded access to safe drinking water for hundreds of millions of people in China, but it has also severely polluted and taxed the country’s water resources. Leaders in Beijing have taken steps to address water security threats, but considerable obstacles persist. As China’s global footprint continues to grow, its actions are increasingly shaping water resources beyond its borders.
China’s decades-long economic boom has generated a new set of demographic demands and environmental challenges. These emerging issues have affected China’s agricultural capacity as well as food security, and constrain China’s social and economic stability.
Air-quality concerns affect China both at home and abroad. Domestic demands on environmental protections have influenced the government’s social and economic policies, while hazardous air pollution has harmed the country’s international image.