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China's Air Pollution Conundrum

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Choking To Death: China’s Air Pollution Conundrum
Long gone are the days when China is mostly rural with a population consisting of farmers. In the late 1970s, Deng Xiaoping loosened the controls on economic life, and began a period known as “reform and opening.” China has not looked back, and industries continue to develop and millions of people migrate to cities to work in one of the many factories. China is experiencing record-breaking economic expansion. They are one of the world’s largest manufacturers and exporters. However, the citizens of China are living in extremely unhealthy conditions. The air they breathe in on a daily basis is horrifying and inescapable. The main reason for this is that China depends primarily on coal. It is imperative that China implement a cleaner method of generating electricity to prevent further damage to the health of its citizens.
Background of China’s Economy and Coal Use
China’s air pollution problem derives from its substantial economic growth. Currently, China has the world’s fastest-growing economy. It is the second-largest, after passing Japan in 2011. Since the global economic crisis of 2008, China’s economy has grown 40%, compared to the United States’ measly 0.5%. In addition, their stocks grow an average of 7% each year (Rapoza). Though experts have expected the economy to crash for the past twenty years, they continue to be proven wrong each year.
China is now a major manufacturer, and produces enormous quantities of products ranging from cement and flat glass, to aluminum and automobiles. If one looks around one’s house, one will find most items possess a “made in China” label. Many nations rely on China for everyday goods, and import finished products by the millions. China man...

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