Is China Ready for the Mantel of International Leadership?

James A. Listorti


In the past few years China has crossed two colossal crossroads.  It is now the world’s largest emitter of CO2 (2006/7)  and held the summer Olympics (2008).   And China shares a curious distinction with many other of the world’s “old” civilizations in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Central and Latin America.  By today’s standards, they are considered developing countries, a designation that appears singularly objectionable to the Chinese.  But a designation that appears to be a significant driving force in China’s overriding policy fostering economic growth.  This article is a follow-up to two earlier articles published in this journal: “Is China Subordinating Health and Environmental Concerns to Economic Growth?” (Winter 2007) and “Environmental and Public Health Risks from Air Pollution at the Beijing 2008 Olympics” (Summer 2008).  Both articles open the door to ask “Is China Ready for the Mantel of International Leadership?” 

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