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Christine Xu, Program Assistant, China Program and Energy & Transportation Program , Washington, D.C.

Christine Xu
I was born in Tianjin, China and came to the U.S. when I was nine years old. Having grown up in a Chinese ‘hutong’ (an alley lined with run-down brick houses and communal bathrooms) and then transplanting to an infinitely more developed country has opened my eyes (and also my empathy) to the complexity of the challenges that China is facing. Almost daily, we hear about their severe environmental degradation. But I have also seen the other side of the story: China’s incredible progress in poverty alleviation and raising the quality of life for millions, including my own friends and family. We need a nuanced approach to framing and finding tailored solutions to these issues, and I have the good fortune of using my cultural background and studies from UC San Diego to support the work of our 30-member Beijing Office. I intend to use this blog as a platform for sharing our work and to bridge the information gap on what is happening on-the-ground in China. Outside of work, you can find me running or biking through the streets of D.C. and helping others live a healthy lifestyle.

Recent Posts

A Vacation Tainted by China's Toxic Air

Posted January 16, 2014 by Christine Xu in Curbing Pollution, Greening China, Health and the Environment

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Beijing is once again blanketed by record-setting air pollution -- the highest since last January’s “airpocalypse.” Levels of PM2.5 reached 671 micrograms Thursday morning, dramatically reducing visibility and prompting commuters to don industrial-strength face masks. In the past year, severe...continued

The Not-So-Appetizing Side of Mooncakes: Extreme Food and Packaging Material Waste

Posted September 18, 2013 by Christine Xu in Greening China, Living Sustainably

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Today, I received a package in the office. When I saw where it was from, I half-jogged back to my desk so I could tear it apart and begin the once-in-a-year chance to eat none other than...Mooncakes! Mooncake is a...continued

True or False? Common Myths about Shark Fins.

Posted August 15, 2013 by Christine Xu in Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, Reviving the World's Oceans, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places

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Every summer, I, along with tens of millions of other Americans, wait in eager anticipation of the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week – a week-long program dedicated to all things sharks that has been airing since 1987. What is now the...continued

Extreme Weather is Here to Stay

Posted August 6, 2013 by Christine Xu in Curbing Pollution, Greening China, Health and the Environment, Solving Global Warming

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“All weather events are affected by a warming planet,” said President Obama during his climate change speech on June 25th. June 25: President Obama wipes away sweat as he announces his new climate change plan in Washington, D.C. under 92...continued

Just Announced: U.S. Department of State Selects NRDC and Beijing as 2013 EcoPartnership Winners

Posted July 11, 2013 by Christine Xu in Curbing Pollution, Greening China, Solving Global Warming

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Co-authored with Mona Yew, Deputy Director of NRDC’s China Program, and Mingming Liu. Today, the U.S. Department of State hosted the official ceremony to kick off a very exciting new project:  NRDC and Beijing Energy and Environment Protection Center (BEEC)...continued

Didn't Think China had Bottom-Up Activism? Think Again.

Posted July 8, 2013 by Christine Xu in Greening China, Living Sustainably, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places

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I was at the Woodrow Wilson International Center’s China Environment Forum recently to hear Ms. Wang Yongchen, a Chinese environmental reporter and activist, speak about dam construction and river pollution issues in China. I had never met Ms. Wang before...continued

In My Family, Food Rarely Goes Wasted

Posted June 21, 2013 by Christine Xu in Greening China, Living Sustainably

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“Finish your rice or they’ll turn into pimples!” is how my family used to scare me and my cousins into licking our plates clean when we were little. I grew up in China with family members that lived through the...continued

This Spring in Beijing: Green Spaces Blossom Both Inside and Out

Posted May 7, 2013 by Christine Xu in Curbing Pollution, Greening China, Living Sustainably

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Spring has arrived and this year, the greenery is not just outdoors: NRDC’s office in Beijing has been awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification for Commercial Interior design (LEED-CI).    USGBC Sr. Fellow Mark Ginsberg in Beijing...continued

It's More Important Than Ever for China to Develop Sustainably

Posted April 19, 2013 by Christine Xu in Curbing Pollution, Greening China, Health and the Environment

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Those who have been following China’s pollution troubles are beginning to wonder whether China is killing itself in the process of pursuing rapid economic growth, and I don’t blame them. My colleagues and I have blogged extensively on the health...continued


Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit

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