The essential reference book on China—the latest China Story Yearbook: Pollution (2015), by scholars and associates of the Australian National University’s Australian Centre on China in the World is out now, free for download from ANU Press.
The Yearbook can be downloaded in full or by chapter.
In 2015, the Chinese world was overshadowed by ongoing, widespread anxieties about pollution, and financial volatility loomed. The year began with a documentary film about pollution in China called Under the Dome. Made by a former China Central Television journalist, it went viral, sparked much public discussion, and was then suppressed. But pollution was firmly on the public, political, and economic agenda for 2015, with such dramatic incidents as the toxic explosions in a Tianjin warehouse pointing up the links between public health and safety, environmental protection, corruption, and the law.
The China Story Yearbook 2015 is an essential companion to making sense of current public debates about China. It offers an original interpretation of the events of the last year. The multiple meanings of the term 污染 (pollution) allow authors to weave together the events of 2015, and tackle a broad range of topics, from the reorganising of Beijing’s boundaries for the purposes of (among other things) better regional coordination on environmental issues, to the environmental implications of its foreign investment and other policies, to the latest developments in the field of justice, ideology, culture, agriculture, and more. The Chinese world encompasses Taiwan, Hong Kong, and beyond, and the Yearbook also deals with the ‘purification rites’ of the recent, historic elections in Taiwan and the expansion of ‘United Front’ work—the business of ‘soft power’. It provides a critical background to recent debates in Australia and beyond about the extension of Chinese influence beyond its borders.
The 2015 Yearbook editors are Professor Gloria Davies, University of Monash, Mr Jeremy Goldkorn, Danwei, and Dr Luigi Tomba, the Australian National University.