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Time for new views on China

By Chemical Engineering |

When it first became a player in the global chemical process industries (CPI), China was framed purely as an opportunity for reducing the costs to produce goods that are consumed elsewhere. More recently, the picture has broadened to include a burgeoning demand for products to be consumed within China by its own increasingly prosperous population. For CPI stakeholders in developed nations, the positive spin on any consequential plant migration is to say that developed nations can continue to thrive by supplying technological innovation and know-how that China does not yet have access to itself. All along, however, anxiety has been brewing about the sustainability of the current path. Some of the more-obvious red flags are environmental ones that reflect China’s much weaker standards than those of the developed world. “The tremendous increase of industrial activities is causing surface water pollution, and scarcity of water is a serious issue in some regions,” said Sven-Uwe Geießen, of the Technical University of Berlin, at last month’s, AchemAsia, the 8th International Exhibition-Congress on Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, which is organized every three years by Dechema e.V. (Frankfurt am Main,…
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