4 UCLA Pac. Basin L.J. 63 (1985)
Post-Mao China and Environmental Protection: The Effects of Legal and Politico-Economic Reform

handle is hein.journals/uclapblj4 and id is 73 raw text is: POST-MAO CHINA AND ENVIRONMENTAL
Lester Ross**
Mitchell A. Silk***
The progress in reform and modernization in post-Mao China
has been widely reported. Greater reliance on material incentives
and the relaxation of central planning have produced striking eco-
nomic gains that, together with improvements in political condi-
tions, have left observers cautiously optimistic about the future.
Difficult questions remain, however, with regard to areas such as
environmental protection. What effects do individualized decision-
making and profit incentives have on environmental quality in
China? What bearing does the genesis of a theory of protected indi-
vidual property rights have on resource use in China? How does
the establishment of a regulatory bureaucracy like the State Bureau
of Environmental Protection affect the implementation of official
This article will examine the actual conduct and changing con-
* Paper presented at the Fourteenth Annual mid-Atlantic regional meeting of the
Association of Asian Studies on the panel Chinese Approaches to Adjudication: A
New Appreciation of Formalism. The authors wish to thank their colleague Professor
Deng Jianxu, Professor of Law, Shenzhen University, and Visiting Fulbright Scholar,
Harvard Law School, 1984-85, for his valuable insights into the special circumstances of
pollution cases in China, and the issue of establishing an environmental court system in
China. Errors are the authors' alone.
** Assistant Professor of Political Science, Purdue University. Ph.D., University
of Michigan.
*** J.D., University of Maryland School of Law; Research consultant in East
Asian Legal Studies, University of Maryland School of Law. Mr. Silk is presently
working for the Beijing office of Coudert Brothers, and is also researching and teaching
law at Beijing University under a National Academy of Sciences fellowship. Mr. Silk
expresses his heartfelt thanks to Ronald B. Rubin, of Melnicove, Kaufman, Weiner,
Smouse & Garbis, Baltimore, Maryland, for his keen comments on an earlier draft of
this article.

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