The story

Decades of extraordinary growth have catapulted China to the top of the world's economic charts, earning the admiration of much of the rest of the world.

Indeed, China's continued economic rise has been one of the few certainties of the 21st century. Increasingly, however, the China story is not one of economic miracle but of environmental disaster.

Worries over air quality at the Beijing Olympics, tainted products and China's rapidly growing contribution to global climate change have focused international attention on the environmental downside of China's growth. Read full article »

Stephen Voss is a Washington, D.C.-based photographer whose work has been featured in many international publications, including Time, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Newsweek, Forbes, Der Spiegel and Condé Nast Portfolio. He received a Creative Visions Foundation grant to document homelessness in Portland, Oregon, and photos from the project were featured in a national exhibit. Voss' recent work includes photo essays on U.S. Superfund sites and international adoption.

Elizabeth C. Economy, who wrote the above essay, is the C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and director for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Economy is the award-winning author of "The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenges to China's Future" (2004). Her op-ed pieces and book reviews have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, Newsday and The South China Morning Post.

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