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Environmental Security and its Implications for China’s Foreign Relations

  • Junko Mochizuki

    (Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

  • ZhongXiang Zhang

    ()

    (East-West Center)

China’s emerging standing in the world demands a major rethinking of its diplomatic strategies. Given its population size, geographical scale, economic power and military presence, China is poised to play a larger political role in the twenty-first century, and is thus perceived by the international community to have greater capacities, capabilities and responsibilities. At the same time, environmental stresses caused by China’s energy and resources demands have become increasingly evident in recent years, urging China to cultivate delicate diplomatic relations with its neighbors and strategic partners. Tensions have been seen in areas such as transboundary air pollution, cross-border water resources management and resources exploitation, and more recently in global issues such as climate change. As the Chinese leadership begins to embrace the identity of a responsible developing country, it is becoming apparent that while unabated resources demands and environmental deterioration may pose a great threat to environmental security, a shared sense of urgency could foster enhanced cooperation. For China to move beyond existing and probable diplomatic tensions, a greater attention to domestic and regional environmental security will no doubt be necessary. This article explores such interrelations among domestic, regional and global environmental securities and China’s diplomacy, and suggests possible means by which China could contribute to strengthening global environmental security.

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Paper provided by East-West Center, Economics Study Area in its series Economics Study Area Working Papers with number 116.

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Length: pages 27
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ewc:wpaper:wp116
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  1. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2008. "Asian Energy and Environmental Policy: Promoting Growth While Preserving the Environment," MPRA Paper 12224, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. ZhongXiang Zhang, 2009. "Multilateral Trade Measures in a Post-2012 Climate Change Regime?: What Can Be Taken from the Montreal Protocol and the WTO?," Working Papers 2009.81, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Piet Buys & Uwe Deichmann & Craig Meisner & Thao Ton That & David Wheeler, 2009. "Country stakes in climate change negotiations: two dimensions of vulnerability," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 288-305, May.
  4. -H. Peh, Kelvin S. & Eyal, Jonathan, 2010. "Unveiling China's impact on African environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4729-4730, August.
  5. Haakon Vennemo & Kristin Aunan & Henrik Lindhjem & Hans Martin Seip, 2009. "Environmental Pollution in China: Status and Trends," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(2), pages 209-230, Summer.
  6. Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2000. "Can China afford to commit itself an emissions cap? An economic and political analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 587-614, December.
  7. Ellen Bruzelius Backer, 2007. "The Mekong River Commission: Does It Work, and How Does the Mekong Basin’s Geography Influence Its Effectiveness?," Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 26(4), pages 32-56.
  8. Karl Hallding & Guoyi Han & Marie Olsson, 2009. "China’s Climate- and Energy-security Dilemma: Shaping a New Path of Economic Growth," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 38(3), pages 119-134.
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