Environment and development are two major concerns…. Through its arduous efforts of many years, especially those made since the Industrial Revolution, mankind [sic] has made brilliant achievements in transforming nature and developing economy. Yet neglect of environment in the course of industrialisation, particularly the irrational exploitation and utilisation of resources, has caused global environmental pollution and ecological degradation posing a real threat to the survival and development of mankind.
(Li Peng 1994:1)
For most Chinese, food and shelter come first.
(Martin Lee, Hong Kong Legislative Councillor 1992)
The Chinese tradition is for everyone to 'sweep the snow from only one doorway'.
(Fung Shui-Wing, The Conservancy Association 1989)
It is rare for any subject to command unanimous support in Hong Kong these days, but there is one target for 1999 which everybody should be able to support. What ever happens, this should be the year in which the Government and the people join together to improve the environment…. In these hard (economic) times, Hong Kong needs a breath of fresh air. A concerted campaign against pollution should become a rallying point for the community in the year ahead.
(Editorial, South China Morning Post, 1 January 1999)
China's environmental problems, many of which are exemplified in and around Guangzhou and Hong Kong, are well understood and are set out in China's Agenda 21 document (State Planning Committee 1994). They are mainly those of local environmental pollution and ecological degradation but it is also recognized that the country is not immune to global environmental impacts such as the effects of climatic change (Xie 1994). China also experiences great disparity in incomes between and within