China will inevitably run into six major challenges during its development in the 21st century, said Niu Wenyuan, chief scientist and team leader of the research of sustainable development strategy at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, at the 21st Century Forum' 2005 in Beijing.
First is the coming of three population peaks in the future three to four decades. China already has a total population of 1.3 billion, and each year of the coming two decades will see an average of 10 million newborns.
Second is the excessive consumption of energies and natural resources at this developing stage. It is learned that China contributed 4.3 percent to world economy in 2004, but used the world's 30 percent coal, 27 percent iron and steel, 25 percent aluminium and 40 percent cement. This extensive way of resources unitization will hardly be curbed in the coming two or three decades.
Third is the overall and continuous deterioration of ecological environment in this country.
Forth is the enormous pressure of urbanization. "Currently we have 12 to 13 million people moving from rural to urban areas each year, and the trend will continue into the coming 30 to 40 years," said Niu.