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China: Environmental, crime, and disease issues

By: Devin Glenn Pringle


Date Added : July 30, 2011 Views : 626
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In recent years, China has been growing rapidly. Many of the goods purchased in the United States are manufactured in China. Many citizens have moved from rural regions of the country to the higher populated areas of the coast to work in factories. But what are the issues with China and how will that impact development? In order to draw conclusions, the following questions much be addressed:

What environmental issues are there in China and how do they impact development and the economy?

What crime issues are there in China and how do they impact development and the economy?

What disease issues are in China and how do they impact the development and the economy?

What environmental issues are there in China and how do they impact development and the economy?

In an influential article, Kahn and Yardley write that China is in a dire environmental circumstance. Of all 560 million people living in urban areas, only 1% of them are breathing air rated safe by the European Union. Although the country posts double digits in economic growth, the success is paralleled with increased pollution from coal usage. Coal is readily available to the country, but is one of the dirtiest sources of energy. Sulfur dioxide, a bi-product of burning coal, is responsible for acid rain not only in China, but the haze has carried to nearby Korea and as far as Tokyo, Japan. The air is loaded with heavy metals like lead and contains traces of the deadly substance arsenic. Children are often the victim of lead poisoning and cancer is extremely common. Not only are many finding it hard to breathe the toxic air, they can hardly drink the water. About 60 miles outside of Beijing, there are plots of land that used to be rice and agriculture fields, untouched and unbroken. Now, hundreds of chemica

l factories occupy the land. They spill their sulfuric acid and other toxic waste filled water into the Feng Chan River. One of the small tributaries that feed the river is so badly discolored it is called the little red canal. In the villages surrounding that portion of the river, the cancer rate is 30 times the national average. According to the Center for Remote Imaging, Sensing, and Processing or CRISP, pollution has extended from the rivers to the ocean where it has had an economic impact. In China alone, there have been 200 incidents of red tide reported in the last 10 years. In Hong Kong, a massive red tide bloom in 1998 was responsible for 32 million dollars in fish kill loss, which impacted the fishing industry in China. Over the span of all the incidents, estimates of losses top $240 million dollars. During red tides, people are warned not to each shellfish and other seafood that was harvested from the ocean. The pollution does not go without impacting the economy in a negative way. Lynch reports that injuries related to pollution including poisoning, cancer, and death cost China about 8 to 15% of its GDP. Also, in terms of production capacity, the country loses about 14 billion dollars.

The economy in China continues to flourish. With the increase in industrialized production, factories dump toxic waste water into drinking water, which is also responsible for the red tide impacting the fishing industry. The air is filled with sulfuric acid from the burning of coal. The pollution has affected the ability for workers to produce goods and carry out their daily lives. Their economic growth is stifled by environmental injury cost. Cancer is impacting the workforce and the air is choking China.

What crime issues are there in China and how does it impact development and the economy?

In an article on Reuters, Shipeng reports that China has a very serious crime issue sweeping the entire nation. Just from the early 1990’s to the early 2000’s annual crime doubled from 2 million to over 4 million crimes committed. The majority of these crimes, around 3.7 million, were theft, robbery, and burglary. This is due to the widening gap between the rich and the poor as the economy expands. Also in the report, the Ministry of Public Security, Wu Heping, was quoted saying that China is still in a period of high crime, but it has leveled out. Serious crimes committed such as murder and explosive attacks have dropped considerably. Sometimes policing the high crime ironically relies on crime itself. According to Xia (2006), the police force in China simply isn’t large enough to police the entire country. There are approximately 12 police officers for every 10,000 citizens, which is about 1/3 of western nations. Ill-equipped and underfunded, local police precincts have been using crime as income in order to operate. In fact, organized crime is greater than it has ever been in the country. Organized crime generates a hidden economy estimated to be worth 20% of China’s GNP. The sex trafficking industry generates approximately 500 billion dollars a year. One campaign in Shenzhen was aimed at getting rid of prostitutes in the area. Thousands of prostitutes were driven from the area, which also drove out their 10 billion in Yuan from local financial institutions. Sex trafficking continues to grow in China as the opportunity abroad disappears. Desperate for money, women are turning to prostitution, and organized crime has turned it into a market. Humantrafficking.org reports that there about 10 to 20,000 sex trafficking victims each year in China. Rapid economic growth along China’s east coast has resulted in migrations. This migration gives traffickers opportunity to lure women and girls.

As organized crime, sex-trafficking and theft and burglary take hold, the economy creates a further gap between the rich and the poor encouraging such crimes. China’s police simply do not have the resources to fight crime properly. In reality, many police forces rely on income from crime to operate. As long as the economy continues to grow at a phenomenal rate, so too will the crime rate. Unless China allocates funds to police forces to operate, and not from crime revenues, the country will continue its vicious circle.

What disease issues are in China and how do they impact the development and the economy?

Much like the impact migration has had on sex trafficking, disease is becoming an epidemic. In an article from Reuters, China’s CDC says that there were 278,215 cases of syphilis in the country in 2008. Many migrant workers are having unprotected sex with the women and girls that are being trafficked into the area. The sexually transmitted disease syphilis has increased by 30% per year. The disease that China once thought it had eliminated in the 1960’s has resurfaced and its impact is greater than ever. There is also great fear surrounding the transmission of HIV/AIDS. Disease in the country is not just from sexual activities, however. Pollution in the country continues to sicken people of the nation. Kahn and Yardley write about an unpublicized report by the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning. In 2003, estimated deaths attributed to air pollution reached 300,000. The greatest cause of death was heart disease and lung cancer, both from drinking water and the polluted air most of China breathes. The burning of coal, toxic fumes, and poor construction materials could be responsible for an additional 110,000 deaths in the same year.

Disease has killed thousands of people in China. Many of these people could be productive capacity for the growing economy. However, as the economy grows, so too does the rate of pollution, and so follows the death rate in China. China is a sickened population, whose development is being hindered as the migrant workers moving to the areas to work are being infected and dying from syphilis.



Devin Pringle is the author of this article on Screw machine products. Find more information on Precision cnc machining here.



Article Source: China: Environmental, crime, and disease issues

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