From the New York Times:
And that’s why I came here. Because Shangri-La County is a microcosm of the biggest challenge facing China. Put simply: if development doesn’t come to Shangri-La and other rural areas, the divide between haves and have-nots will widen and destabilize China. But if the wrong development comes here, it will add to global warming and ravage the rural environment where many of China’s indigenous cultures and species are nested.
Yes, China must get its smoke-belching factories out of the coastal cities because they are making the cities unlivable, but if it just pushes them into the countryside, they will destroy way too much of China’s farmland, and the natural areas that are the home of things like Tibetan culture.
This article is available only to Times Select subscribers, but you can read it in full on Peking Duck. See also “China clamps down on environmental monitoring group.”