Category: Rule of Law

Policy: Four gaps in China’s new environmental law

China’s new environmental protection law is not enough without robust implementation mechanisms, accountability regimes and institutional arrangements. This report for the science journal Nature identifies four gaps that will cause challenges for the new law.

Advertisements

China’s environmental enforcement glitch

Declaring “war on pollution” is just the first step, writes Elizabeth Economy in this terrific piece for ChinaFile on the need for Beijing to invest more in the fundamentals of environmental protection: the enforcement of regulations and the necessary human and financial resources to those on the front-line of clawing back blue skies and clean water for China.

Looking forward to the moment when you return: Zhou Qinghui to Huang Kaiping

As China continues its crackdown on reform-minded scholars and civil liberties, the wife of yet another detained member of the respected Beijing-based think tank, Transition Institute, has spoken out in an open letter circulated online. Reaching out to her husband, Huang Kaiping, in the only way she now can, Zhou Qinghui recounts in vivid voice their first meeting, as fifth graders, up until the current day’s events, cast in shadow by the question mark of an uncertain future under a repressive regime.

Sustainable mining and quarrying

The Toronto-based environmental and public policy research institute, Environment Probe, takes on the Mining Association of Nova Scotia, which cautions against local decision making. Probe recommends empowering affected individuals and communities to determine whether and how proposed projects will go ahead. To further ensure that mining and quarrying are sustainable, Probe recommends making mining companies bear all their environmental risks and costs.

China’s water revival

Chinese citizens and industry are both willing to do their part to help turnaround the country’s water crisis, according to a new survey, but they don’t see how without a mechanism that allows the government, industry and end users to work together. Could that missing mechanism be market discipline, rule of law and citizen empowerment?

A letter to my husband Guo Yushan: II

Twenty days after the first letter to her husband, detained legal activist and scholar, Guo Yushan, Pan Haixia posted another exquisitely written follow-up letter to him online. In the time in between, Pan writes she is determined to honour Guo’s zest for life by not isolating herself: “I don’t want you to criticize me for indulging in self-pity” and “it would be unreasonable for me to act half-dead” when loved ones have been so supportive. Pan’s mood has become increasingly reflective, drawing on wisdom gained in moments past, as she finds herself embracing the philosophy that, “we little people all have an ultimate freedom that no one can take away: the freedom to choose the attitude with which we face our destinies.” She remains hopeful Guo will return home.

A letter to my husband, Guo Yushan

Pan Haixia, lawyer and the wife of economic scholar and influential think tank founder, Guo Yushan, posted a letter online that she wrote to her husband after he was taken from their suburban Beijing home by police officers on October 9, at around 2 a.m., on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” — a pretext used to silence China’s growing community of rights activists. Conflicted by the danger Guo’s activism brought to their doorstep, Pan’s heartrending words to Guo, to whom she wasn’t able to say ‘goodbye’, powerfully relate the torment activists and their families endure as targets of political persecution in China.

Africa in Fact: dirty dealing

The September 2014 issue of the monthly current affairs magazine, Africa in Fact, offers a dramatic snapshot of the all-embracing and, at times, astonishing ways in which the cancer of corruption impacts societies, diverting resources from much-needed public services, ranging from health care to national defence, into private pockets.

Ukraine’s odious debts

Ukraine’s national news agency, Ukrinform, asked Probe International’s Patricia Adams to weigh in on Ukraine’s multibillion-dollar debt to Russia and whether Ukraine could challenge the enforceability of the US$3 billion Eurobond using an odious debts argument.