China prioritized economic development over the environment for several years, which resulted in the most polluted skies and waterways on the planet. A major industrial power was created at the expense of environment. The country relies heavily on coal and is the world's leading CO2 emitter. In 2008, China contributed 22% of global emissions, followed by the United States with 20% of emissions. Industrial cities are usually wrapped in a gray shroud, so thick that people don't see the sun. The children are getting sick from lead poisoning or other types of local air pollution. Read more about the pollution in China... You can also watch a short documentary on Chinese growth on youtube, first part dealing with cultural differences and the second part concerning the water pollution effects.