One heritage the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games left China is a clearer sky as well as a realization that any economic miracle without proper care for the environment would still be a failure.
Nothing has risen so quickly and prominently on the global political and economic agenda than the once-academic topic of climate change and how to curb the evils of industrialization for the benefit of all human beings.
In its brief history of modernization, six decades at most, New China has realized heavy pollution and excessive energy consumption is suicidal.
In a land third largest in the world, China manages to feed the world's biggest population, 1.3 billion. The people on the land do, first and foremost, suffer from air, water and soil pollution. They, understandably, would be the first to benefit from endeavors to protect the environment.
Just as people in developed countries used to believe, the Chinese often perceived successful lifestyle as owning a gas-guzzling motor vehicle, frequent intake of intensively processed foods and having as many electric appliances in the home as possible.
With the trappings of modern civilization now ubiquitous, Chinese people, paradoxically, are reminiscing about times past when nature and society interacted harmoniously.
With the world's biggest export industry, China now manufactures products for global consumption -- as well as a carbon footprint which is both a financial and health debt every Chinese has to pay.
While acknowledging the significance and urgency of globally-concerted efforts to address climate change, President Hu Jintao has vowed that China will continue sustained development, implying the country's pursuit of a green economy.