concept of global change is neither well understood nor are the effects of global change tangibly felt in the lives of ordinary citizens. Consequently, global change is not top policy priority when matched against the readily apparent consequences of China's environmental problems. That is not to say that no interest or concern exists. The impact of global warming, for example, has been addressed at the national level. In the ''National Report of the People's Republic of China on Environment and Development'' (SPC 1991), the important implications of global warming on agricultural output and sea-level rise were explicitly noted. Moreover, the Asian Development Bank has recently approved a $600,000 technical assistance grant to China (to be administered through the State Science and Technology Commission [Chapter 3]) to formulate a national response strategy for global climate change.
Despite a clear acknowledgement of environmental problems and calls for substantive mediation, a national policy on the issues of global environmental change is not well formed. In China, as in other countries, the issues of global environmental change have emerged from the scientific community. And, the Chinese scientific community is responding, assisted, in part, by major international research programs that address global climate and global environmental change.
As a result, a policy approach to global change issues and support for research is evolving. China has been forceful in international fora in advocating that wealthy industrialized nations help finance developing countries' participation in regimes addressing global warming. In 1991, China signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone (herein referred to as the Montreal Protocol) and is researching and developing chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-alternative technologies.
China will remain heavily dependent on coal to fuel the advances envisioned in its ambitious economic development plans for the 1990s. No doubt exists that anthropogenic emissions will increase. As maximum economic growth policies proceed, land use changes will be greatly accelerated, which have implications for land use patterns, water resources, and atmospheric composition. Also, due to energy inefficiencies, resource consumption patterns, and increased fertilizer applications, China will alter the regional and global atmospheric chemical composition due to increased trace gas fluxes.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), through the Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China