China seriously needs to clean up its act in more ways than one. Its booming economy has seriously impacted its environment and that of its neighbors with frequent toxic spills causing land and groundwater pollution, not to mention ubiquitous smog problems. Although environmentalists describe the situation as "grave," not everybody's unhappy about it.
In fact, the situation is ideal for aggressive foreign investors willing to set up sweatshops in China knowing that they can save big bucks by avoiding paying for measures to preserve the environment.
Make no mistake -- China will not meet Kyoto's requirements any time soon, but you can bet all the tea in China that it will ingenuously gloss over this imperfection, with the help of Maurice Strong no doubt, and come out smelling of roses in the eyes of the world. It is clear that China still has a long way to go before it even starts to respect any accords it has signed. The WTO and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights spring to mind. Don't hold your breath.