The Times has a nice article about the problems with using GDP as a measure of success.  This has always been the case in China, which is why city officials in Guangzhou encouraged the purchase of private automobiles to improve/increase production in Guangdong Province, even though Guangzhou is highly polluted and has one of the world’s best subway systems.  In addition to economic measures, the Chinese government is finally beginning to use environmental quality measures (e.g., air quality) to evaluate local officials.