This chapter explores four issues: 1) whether economic development will reduce ethnic tensions; 2) modernization as a process of recolonization and incessant exploitation of resources, 3) the lack of coordination and equal distribution of resources between the central and local governments, and 4) whether the development campaigns with the claimed Chinese characteristics could avoid the same path. It focuses on historical reflection and environmental realism with the intention to refresh and enhance a balanced view that captures, on the one hand, the State's desire for environmental protection proclaimed by the Chinese political leaders and the Ministry of Environmental Affairs, and, on the other hand, the global demand for environmental conservation, and local interest in economic development with respect to the population's quality of life along the Silk Road. 'Equality' was a founding moral principle of Chinese Communism and a political ideal legitimizing Chinese Communist rule. Keywords: Chinese Communism; economic development; environmental protection; historical reflection

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