“New Social Power in China” read one 2004 cover of Economics, a Beijing-based magazine. The reference cited the work of domestic environmental groups that oppose the building of massive dams in the country. These nongovernmental organizations—along with others that militate on environmental, public health and legal issues—have begun to serve as a vital counterpoint to the government's otherwise unchecked push to propel the nation's blisteringly fast-paced economic development. The NGOs have become a new force for political activism in China's post-Tiananmen era.