Consolidating China's Industries, One Polluter at a Time

Oct 25, 2017 | 09:14 GMT

Air quality varies from season to season, and even from day to day. But by any measure, China's air quality has room for improvement.

The Chinese government has set ambitious goals for improving air quality in its major industrial areas. So far, its progress has been slow at best.



  • China's government will use stricter environmental policies to advance its quest for greater power over the country.
  • The cost of upgrading their facilities to comply with more stringent environmental standards will force some small, inefficient companies to close their doors, helping China consolidate its heavy industries.
  • Though ensuring local compliance will still pose a challenge for the central government, better monitoring, changing priorities and new enforcement mechanisms will limit resistance to the new environmental policies.

Winter is coming, and for much of China's eastern coast, that means the start of another smog season. But Beijing is trying to fight the haze, however slowly. China's environmental movement has gained traction over the last couple years, after initially meeting with doubt that the central government could force the country's many inefficient mining and manufacturing facilities to curtail their emissions. And though Beijing still has a long way to go to put its policies into practice, President Xi Jinping made clear at the recent Communist Party Congress that cleaning up the environment is a priority for his administration. Inspections and fines ramped up over the first nine months of this year, and they will continue apace into the next as Xi works to strengthen his control over China's industries, one polluter at a time....

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