In this essay the writer traces the historical process of the making and carrying out of policies concerning environmental protection by the Chinese government since 1980s.
While making great progress in national economy, China has made efforts in the field of environmental protection for the last three decades: it has spent a large amount of money to save energy and reduce pollution. However, back in 1980s the need for economic growth came first, so the issue of environmental conservation was outweighed. Although the government came to realize the necessity of tackling the environmental problem in the 1990s, it failed to make effective, practicable and lasting policies on the matter. In the 21st century, the government has to change the situation. Confronted with the whole issues of environmentalism, the first thing that the government has to do is to modify the “Economic Development First” principle and work out the best fit between economic development and environmental protection.