At the local level this hunger for power prompts folks in the rural areas to scour the countryside in search of firewood. Vast areas have been denuded as a result. Of course the benefits of photosynthesis--oxygen replenishment-- is curtailed by all this making the pollution problem all the more acute.
To its credit China has embarked on a substantial reforestation program in the last few dcades. In fact the forested acreage in china now is greater than the post WWII period. In many hill regions places under replanting are evident. What is quite impressive however are the growing trees are in and among the tilled fields themselves, as shown here in Shandong province. The trees growing from this barley field (Shandong is home of Qingdao and Qingdao beer, hence the barley?) were not deliberately planted: but apparently they were allowed to grow and thrive. It was ana mazing thing to see riding along kilometer after kilometer. Unlike a forest, the distance did not fade into the gloom. Instead all was bright and sheerful, with trunks and tilled fields as far as the eye could see. Sort of 'multiple use' Chinese style.