Luigi Tomba

Luigi Tomba is a political scientist who has published widely on China’s political and social change and the urban condition. His latest book is The Government Next Door. Neighbourhood Politics in Urban China (Cornell University Press, 2014). It was awarded the prestigious Association of Asian Studies Joseph Levenson Prize for the best book on Post-1900 China in 2016. He is an Associate Director of China in the World and was the co-editor of The China Journal from 2005–2015.

Control »

‘More cosmopolitan, more lively, more global’ is how the China Daily summed up the year 2016 in China. It was also a year of more control. The Chinese Communist Party laid down strict new rules of conduct for its members, continued to assert its dominance over everything from the Internet to the South China Sea and announced a new Five-Year Plan that Greenpeace called ‘quite possibly the most important document in the world in setting the pace of acting on climate change’. The China Story Yearbook 2016: Control surveys the year in China’s economy, population planning, law enforcement and reform, environment, Internet, medicine, religion, education, historiography, foreign affairs, and culture, as well as developments in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Pollution »

Environmental pollution poses serious challenges for China, including to its economy as well as public health. The China Story Yearbook 2015: Pollution looks at how China’s Communist Party-state addresses these problems and how Chinese citizens have coped with and expressed their concerns about living with chronic, worsening pollution. This Yearbook also explores the broader ramifications of pollution in the People’s Republic for culture, society law and social activism, as well as the Internet, language, thought, and approaches to history. It looks at how it affects economic and political developments, urban change, and China’s regional and global posture. The Chinese Communist Party, led by ‘Chairman of Everything’ Xi Jinping, meanwhile, has subjected mainland society to increasingly repressive control in its new determination to rid the country of Western ‘spiritual pollutants’ while achieving cultural purification through ‘propaganda and ideological work’. To adulterate, contaminate, spoil or violate—these are among the metaphorical and literal connotations of pollution expressed in this Yearbook via the character ran 染, which forms part of the word for pollution in Chinese, wuran 污染. As the world increasingly relies on economic ties with China, the complexities of China’s one-party system and the Chinese government’s attitudes towards ‘pollution’ are of increasing global significance. Chapter notes are available to view online.