Slump Tilts Priorities of Industry in China

Environmental concerns have taken a backseat to economic interests in the global financial crisis. From Jonathan Ansfield of the New York Times:

A year ago, pollution was a top issue around Duanjialing.

Now, amid the global economic downturn, priorities have shifted.

Cumbersome environmental reviews have been accelerated, state bank loans are flowing freely again and workers are welding the grinding mills of Sanhe Yongsheng Cement, one of the new cement plants under construction not far from China’s capital.

[…] In the rush to invest $585 billion in stimulus spending and revive flagging industrial production, China has at least temporarily backpedaled on some environmental restraints imposed, though with limited impact, during the country’s long boom.