China's Challenge to the United States and to the Earth

During the 1990s, China has emerged as an economic superpower, boasting the world's second largest economy. It is now challenging not only U.S. economic leadership, but the earth's environmental limits. Brown and Flavin say, "China, with its vast population, simply will not be able to follow for long any of the development paths blazed to date. The country that invented paper and gunpowder now has the opportunity to leapfrog the West and show how to build an environmentally sustainable economy. It will be forced to try and chart a new course and could become a shining example for the rest of the world to admire and emulate."