China, The Environmental Dragon: The Environmental Security Implications of China's Rise to Great-Power Status
INDUSTRIAL COLLEGE OF THE ARMED FORCES FORT MCNAIR DC
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China, already one of the worlds major powers, is a serious candidate for 21st-century great power status, given its size, population, economic dynamism, military prowess, and relative natural resource availability. But China also is the center of some of the planets most serious far-reaching, and growing environmental problems. Because the effects of environmental degradation increasingly cannot be contained within national borders, because overpopulation places extraordinary demands on the earths supply of non-renewable resources, and because there is growing recognition of the effects environmental conditions may have on security, there is a growing imperative to assess the environmental security implications of Chinas emergent standing in the world. Responsible treatment of environmental security must begin with careful consideration of the definitional bounds of security whether security is equated with or viewed as something more encompassing than the domain of mere military affairs and whether individual security, with its obvious link to environmental conditions, bears a demonstrable relationship to national, regional and global security. This study takes an expansive view of security that goes beyond the narrow confines of military affairs, calls into question traditional notions of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and even intervention, and defines environmental threats as those conditions of environmental degradation and natural resource depletion that endanger security by contributing to civil unrest, collective violence, interstate conflict, or destabilization. Environmentally, China represents a potential source of considerable volatility and turbulence in the years ahead.
- Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control