China's Past, China's Future: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

China's Past, China's Future

1st Edition

By Vaclav Smil


256 pages

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Paperback: 9780415314992
pub: 2003-11-06
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China has a population of 1.3 billion people which puts strain on her natural resources. This volume, by one of the leading scholars on the earth's biosphere, is the result of a lifetime of study, and provides the fullest account yet of the environmental challenges that China faces. The author examines China's energy resources, their uses, impacts and prospects, from the 1970s oil crisis to the present day, before analysing the key question of how China can best produce enough food to feed its enormous population.


'China's expanding population aond huge developmental needs have put enormous demands on the environment. This is one of the most factual and comprehensive discussions on those environmental pressures currently available.' - China Information

'This is an excellent book that summarises many of the arguements and research that has stimulated Professor Smil's work. It provides a particularly useful summary of some of the main trends in China's food, energy and environmental use and, as such, should appeal not only to Sinologists but also to non-specialists and those wanting an overview of China's recent and current environment and society.'

- James Beattie, University of Otago

Table of Contents

1. China's Biophysical Foundations 2. Energy 3. Food 4. Environment 5. Looking Ahead by Looking Back

About the Author

Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geography, University of Manitoba, Canada. He is widely recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on the biosphere and China's environment. He is the author of many books including The Earth's Biosphere, Enriching the Earth, Feeding the World and China's Environment.

About the Series

Asia's Transformations/Critical Asian Scholarship

This series is intended to showcase the most important individual contributions to scholarship in Asian Studies. Each of the volumes presents a leading Asian scholar addressing themes that are central to his or her most significant and lasting contribution to Asian Studies. The series is committed to the rich variety of research and writing in Asia, and is not restricted to any particular discipline, theoretical approach or geographical expertise.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / China
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies