International Perspectives and Issues the

In particular, it states that Joffe-Walts proposal of having developed countries take responsibility for their own waste to solve Chinas e-waste problems wont necessarily work.

Liu explains that China banned the import of e-waste way back in 2000. Thus, the continued import of e-waste is from black market trade fueled by Chinas abundant, cheap, and skilled labor force. The e-waste is shipped to Hong Kong that then smuggled into China where local authorities are willing to look the other way because it is such a hugely profitable business.

According to Liu, the efforts of developed countries to discontinue the export of e-waste will only serve to make the problem worse. For example, the European Union created the European Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment in 2005. This Directive “holds producers responsible for financing the collection, treatment, recovery, and environmentally sound disposal of waste electronics.

However, the author contends that, while well intentioned, this type of legislation will actually encourage e-waste smuggling.

Thus, Liu proposes completely different solutions for Chinas e-waste problem than does Joffe-Walt. Liu suggests that only China can solve the problem, not developed nations. This author proposes that China should develop a path for e-waste recycling that is suitable for its current situation and that this country must develop its own comprehensive legislation on electronic manufacture and disposal.


Joffe-Walt, Benjamin. (2005) “Chinas Computer Wasteland.” In De Palma, Paul (Ed.), Computers in Society 06/07 (pp. 169-171). Dubuque: McGraw Hill: Contemporary Learning Series.

Liu, Yingling (2006, May 4). “Chinas E-Waste Problem: Facing Up to.

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