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A brief introduction to the Chinese Environmental Law

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  1. Introduction
  2. The development of environmental law and policy in China
  3. The interplay between law and policy in China
  4. Poverty and procedural rights in the Chinese system
  5. Conflict resolution
  6. Conclusion

Before embarking on survey of Chinese views on environmental law and policy, we will present background material on the development of environmental law and policy in China and shortcomings and key problem areas in China's environmental administration. This article will treat, in brief, the experience of previous Chinese governments in the environmental area and the response of the People's Republic of China to environment related problems. It will then analyze the interplay between environmental law and policy, general problems in defining and enforcing substantive and procedural environmental rights, and conflict resolution.Finally, it will note some shortcoming in China's legal system pertaining to the area of environmental Law. We will focus on five parts: the development of environmental law and policy in China (1), the interplay between law and policy (2), the property and procedural rights (3), the conflict resolution (4) and the prospects for the future.

Like other ancient civilizations, China's history reveals considerable understanding of the need for ecological balance, rooted in the efforts of people centuries ago to survive and prosper in agrarian and pastoral societies. China's religious and philosophical traditions stressed the need for man to live in harmony with nature and careful not to upset the delicate forces that sustained civilization. Indeed, the emperor's legitimacy, known as the ?Mandate of Heaven", was signified in part by the absence of natural disasters. Conversely, floods, earthquakes, and other dislocations in the natural order were considered portents of misgovernment and could be used by subordinate powers to criticize the throne.

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