采访/张天宇 编辑/宋风 后制/李智远
The CCP＇s dilemma: Haze control or GDP growth?
In the State Council＇s annual work report, the
Chinese Communist Party＇s (CCP) premier Li Keqiang said the
improvement of the ecological condition is critical to
China’s future and its people＇s life.
Worsening haze and pollution problem are “nature＇s red-light
warning" against the model of inefficient
and blind development.
On the other hand, Li set the GDP growth target to be 7.5%,
unchanged from last year.
In present China, is it possible to control pollution simultaneously
whilst seeking GDP growth?
Let＇s look at the following report.
On 5th March, Li Keqiang presented a report at the CCP＇s 12th
National People’s Congress.
He claimed that the party will fight pollution in the same
way it fought poverty in previous decades.
Li said it is a must to strengthen environmental protection.
The task has to be accomplished with mandatory measures.
According to Li＇s report, the CCP authority plans to shut
down 50,000 small coal-fired furnaces, install
desulphurization facilities in thermal power plants with a
capacity of 15 million kilowatt (kW), install denitrification
facilities in plants with a capacity of 130 million kW,
install dust control device on those with a capacity of
180 million kW, ban 6 million old vehicles from the road and
take other measures of pollution control across China.
Li＇s report makes the strongest voice across the party＇s
history in fighting air pollution.
He also mentioned the word “haze", which was rarely
seen in official statements.
On the other hand, in his first government work report as
premier, Li said the target for economic growth in 2014 is
still 7.5%, unchanged from last year.
Hao Xiaoxia, director of Darwin Institute for Environment in
Beijing, said the CCP authority would stick to its
“GDP comes first" policy for a long period of time.
Hao Xiaoxia, Director of Darwin Institute for Environment:
It is largely true that the cost of economic growth causes the
destruction of nature and health problems of many people.
It is indeed like that.
Hao believes that, in the long run, economic development will
not always contradict environmental protection.
Chinese online financial media Caixin.com admitted that except
in a few provinces such as Xinjiang and Tibet, pollution has
become extremely serious in most parts of China.
In addition, there exist at least two difficulties in
pollution control: Firstly, it is hard to move those polluting
industries with high energy costs;
Secondly, it is hard to change China＇s
current energy structure.
Chinese environmental activist Zhang Junfeng said, the CCP’s
leadership group and leading scholars still know little about
the theories of environmental protection.
That is why China is trapped in a dilemma between economic
growth and pollution/ecological problems.
Zhang Junfeng, Chinese environmental activist: They have yet
to realize that there is a necessary link between seeking a
nice number for GDP growth and environmental deterioration.
Realistically speaking, the current model of development and
the economic target have resulted in serious problems in the
overall environmental condition in China.
In recent years, mainland China frequently sees extreme levels
of heavy haze.
In some regions, the air quality was identified to be at the
level of “extreme pollution” and “dangerous" to human health.
The CCP has officially released the 2014 annual report
of international municipal development.
The report also said that the pollution in Beijing has been
so serious that the city is no longer suitable for
humans to live in.
Last year, Asian Development Bank and a group of scholars from
Tsinghua University completed a report of
“Analysis of China＇s Natural Environment".
The report evaluated pollution by measuring the air
concentration of three kinds of pollutants: suspended
particles, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
The report said, there are seven Chinese cities in the list of
top ten polluted cities in the world.
They are Taiyuan, Beijing, Urumqi, Lanzhou,
Chongqing, Jinan and Shijiazhuang.
Hu Deping, the son of former CCP general secretary Hu Yaobang,
wrote in 2013 that China＇s income per capita only increased
by a factor of 12 in the past three decades, compared to
GDP growth factor of 67.
The CCP’s State Statistics Bureau made a survey among
over 100,000 families.
It found that, after adjustment by inflation factors, China＇s
disposable income per capita has increased by 10.5 times
from 1978 to 2012;
the income per capita in rural areas has increased
by 10.8 times.
Chen Gang, a researcher at the East Asian Institute at the
National University of Singapore, wrote an article
for the BBC.
Chen said, under China＇s current political and economic
structure, over 90% of new wealth created every year would
flow into the pockets of a very small group of families.
Therefore, most Chinese have no interest in China＇s GDP
growth ratio, being like 7% or 8%.
Chen said, “GDP comes first" has made “buying a house" in big
cities a dream too far away for most Chinese people.
Transportation, medical care, education and job hunting, every
aspect of life has become more difficult in the
so-called “economic development".
Furthermore, seeking money makes people more indifferent to
others, even their family members and friends.
The public security, food safety and social morals continue
to become worse.
Chen believes that, if the CCP continues its crazy game of
seeking GDP growth, the Chinese people ＇s living conditions
will become even worse.
Interview/Zhang Tianyu Edit/SongFeng Post-Production/Li Zhiyuan