The Chinese Communist Party’s Sensitivity to Legitimacy and its Rush for Hydropower
Victor, Cha D.
This paper seeks to explain why China suddenly sped up its hydropower development on trans-boundary rivers, despite neighboring countries and environmental activists’ opposition and the fact that it did not have any electricity shortage problem and it would not have this problem in the near future. The conventional understandings of China’s motivations for hydropower development, energy demand, economic benefit, and climate change, are not convincing explanations for China’s recent hydropower rush. Instead, by reading carefully government document and hydropower data, this paper advances that the Chinese Communist Party (the CCP)’s sensitivity to regime legitimacy is the primary factor that encourages the CCP to remove constraints on hydropower development accelerate its exploitation in response to the public desire for clean air.
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