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Measuring China’s Harmony

CANBERRA – Scientific circles have generally accepted the need to account for natural capital – and the ecosystem services that it provides – when assessing progress toward sustainable human well-being. Now, the highest levels of China’s government seem to be recognizing this need, too.

Indeed, at the Chinese Communist Party’s recent 18th Congress, top officials advocated “ecological progress,” in addition to the longstanding goal of economic prosperity and a “harmonious society.” As President Hu Jintao stated in his keynote address at the start of the Congress, the CPC views ecological progress as a “task of vital importance to the people’s well-being and China’s future.”