For Mr. Li Keqiang, as the new premier, and for Mr. Xi Jinping, as the new president, many challenges are under way in the next few years. Their combinate leaderships and the economic power of China will be enough to create a sustainable future for their country?
A simple look at the map shown below explains better than any other argument the main problem of China. A giant country, able to outperform every other nation due to its organization and the sheer mass of resources (human and not human) that can be devoted to a task. Size matters, as always, when it comes to problems, too.
The industrialization of China got a price, an awful one. The pollution levels of the main rivers, of the atmosphere and the progressive desertification in many territories spoke volumes about the challenges of this century for the asian giant. Will they succeed in the struggle to keep their water, air and territory clean? History from the 19th century and the 20th century shows us how industrial development can be dangerous for public health, how many chinese have to die to demonstrate once again this truth?
In the near future, even the concept of chinese identity will be questioned. The fragile ethnic mosaic of chinese population was never in a complete equilibrium but the combinate pressure of economic transformations and religion-driven activism are transforming the country in a way that could drive to major collapse in the most peripheric lands of China.
A keyword for the future could be decentralization. For a strong government it will be easier to force relocation of industries and/or services from the most crowded regions. It’s a titanic strategy, well suited for a people like chinese. The new sites (or renewed ones) could be designed and constructed with the highest levels available of technology, with a keen eye on renewable energies and waste cycle. The old ones could be reconfigured in a similar way to keep them on the run.