China Pollution

Liu Futang’s verdict causes worry amongst China’s green activists

(January 22, 2013) The conviction and sentencing of high-profile Chinese environmental activist Liu Futang is seen as a setback for China’s green movement. Considered political payback for Liu’s efforts to expose the environmental downside of government-backed projects, Liu’s trial has cast a shadow over the country’s new leadership and their commitment to green issues, reports in this article surveying fallout from the verdict.

By Luna Lin for, published on December 10, 2012

The conviction of environmentalist Liu Futang came just weeks after high profile mantra from political leadership about building an “ecological civilisation.”


Image: Liu Futang’s sina blog

The sentencing of renowned Chinese environmentalist Liu Futang to three years’ probation has triggered doubts about China’s environmental commitment.

The veteran environmentalist was found guilty by a local court in South China’s Hainan province for “illegal business activities” and fined £1,700 last week, with prosecutors claiming Liu had profited illegally from self-publishing books – despite the fact Liu gave away most of his books for free.

The trial against Liu is seen as political retaliation for Liu’s books exposing environmental degradation caused by government-backed projects.

The verdict comes just weeks after the 18th Party Congress’s high profile advocacy of building a “Ecological Civilisation,” leaving many environmental activists worrying about China’s commitment to environmental progress.

Feng Yongfeng, founder of the Beijing-based NGO Green Beagle, regretted that the judicial authorities in Hainan still misjudged local green activists’ intentions.

“The judicial authorities in Hainan still badly underestimate local green activists’ role,” Feng said, “they have treated the people who care most about the local environment as the people who most hate local development. They have tried in every way to frame them.”

This article continues in full at the publisher’s website.

Further Reading

Chinese environmentalist on trial for protecting the environment
A former forestry official-turned-environmental activist is on trial in China for publishing a book about a controversial coal power plant without state permission. He stands accused, under China’s surreal justice system, of “conducting illegal business.”

1 reply »

  1. China could be an incredible force for good and could do pilot projects the rest of the world could watch and benefit from. This is sad news indeed, and it comes on a day when Beijing is in the news for the risky state of its air.

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