It's a terrible irony, country with most people in the world has the worst air quality which often results in many respiratory diseases, and some other diseases which at the end cost country much than the renewable energy research. Renewable energy is only hope for countries like China, India and even USA to maintain air quality on acceptable level. While USA has enough funds to invest in renewable energy sector situation is quite different with China and India that are lacking necessary funds and therefore stick with dirty fuels like coal to maintain their rapid economy boost.
This has its price and yet again ecological price since ecology is in many countries only acceptable if economy gives green light. For instance in 1999 carbon dioxide emission reached 18.57 million tons, air pollution emission reached 11.59 million tons and industrial dust emission reached 11.75 million tons, according to statistics released by the State Environmental Protection Administration of China.
Thankfully China is aware of her air pollution problem and tries to fight it if not for anything else than for the 2008 Olympics as they're investing more funds in renewable energy sector and particularly in wind energy sector but as long coal based power plants will dominate China's industry there's really no place for significant ecological improvement.
Last year Beijing and its area were named by the European Satellite Agency as having the world's highest levels of nitrogen dioxide -- a key smog gas originating from power plants, heavy industry and vehicle emissions and inhalable particles had reached a dangerous 300 micrograms per cu meter- meaning that outdoor activities had become hazardous to human health.
There is also the big problem in form of acid rains in China although not this big as air pollution. Acid rain hit more than 30 % of China's area and in some south areas acid rains even exceed 80 % causing great environmental damage and influencing the range of PH level in water.
China is in very delicate situation as their government tries to balance their economy needs with environmental protection and this is very tough to achieve, especially now when China became major player on global industry market, but still not powerful enough to set its sights away from coal. There are some investments in renewable energy sector but coal is still dominant and there's also increase in number of vehicles(as the result of higher living standards) and this will affect China's air and environment in years to come.