Chapter 13: Greater China and transnational environmental crime: understanding criminal networks and enforcement responses
As one of the emerging forms of cross-border criminality, transnational environmental crime (TEC) has increasingly become a concern that features highly on the policy agenda and discourse of many international conferences and organizations. Thanks to its prominent yet ‘ignoble’ role as the world’s leading supplier or consumer of a variety of illegal environmental goods including wildlife, timber, and ozone depleting substances (ODS), China has consistently remained at the heart of these concerns. International perception of China’s expanding demand for, or supply of, illicit environmental goods centres around the adverse impacts on the environmental, economic, and social dimensions in source and consumer countries involved in China’s illegal trade. Such multifaceted negative outcomes mainly include deforestation (EIA 2012), biodiversity loss (UNEP 2013), species endangerment (EIA 2007, 2009), revenue loss (Thornton 2005), damage to local livelihoods (Mackenzie 2006; Mackenzie with Ribeiro 2009), and ozone layer loss (Clark 2005). In reality, not only does China’s illegal trade in environmental goods provide a striking counterpoint to the Chinese government’s political commitments to a ‘harmonious society’ domestically and a responsible global citizen internationally, it also proves to be a thorny policy and enforcement challenge for other ‘victimized’ countries entangled in China’s transnational trade chain.
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