Category: China Pollution

China’s new dawn

(May 24, 2013) The new dawn of Chinese activism: organic, leaderless and technology-driven. This report by journalist Monica Tan looks at the rise of public protest in China, how activism has moved away from a select high-profile few to become a growing movement made up of ordinary people – ‘lao baixing’ – determined to stand up for their environment. Technology enables large masses of people to get the word out and to assemble at low risk: no one and everyone leads. Some see this grassroots’ movement as the road to democracy and accountability for China.

Netizens against filth

(March 27, 2013) Pollution is once again a dire concern in the wake of China’s formal acknowledgement last month of cancer hotspots, known as “cancer villages,” long speculated to be caused by drinking and irrigation water contaminated by industrial chemicals and heavy metals. More recently, unmanageable garbage sites have posed a threat to Beijing’s drinking water supply. As China’s new leadership moves to clean up the country, citizens still lack access to information that would help them help both their health and their environment but that’s not stopping them from Twittering towards change.

Critic of unbridled growth tipped as new China environment minister

(March 4, 2013) Pan Yue, a popular, outspoken and confrontational environmental official is reportedly a front-runner to become China’s new environment minister. Nicknamed Hurricane Pan, a reference to the “environmental protection storms” Pan led as former vice-minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration, the appointment would represent a clear signal to citizens that their new government is serious about improving the country’s rivers and skylines and empowering its environmental protection bodies to take on vested interests, reports Reuters. Although, Pan’s fearless advocacy has hampered his career in the past, promoting someone viewed as a tiger tough on polluters and a critic of unbridled development could help to defuse the civil unrest that has rocked China in recent times, in large part provoked by a loss of faith in the nation’s growth miracle.

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 Chinadialogue.net in this article surveying fallout from the verdict.

Red Yangtze

(September 17, 2012) China’s famed golden waterway turns a disturbing red in the southwest region’s largest industrial centre. Speculation as to why runs the gamut from industrial dye dumps to an omen of biblical doom.

Shifang uprising halts controversial copper plant proposal

(July 5, 2012) Violent, public protest in China has halted construction of a controversial copper alloy plant in Shifang City, in Sichuan province. In a country with no free press, people left reeling by social media reports of police brutality took to the Internet to intervene. Meanwhile, the nation’s civil rights movement views the Shifang stand-off against government and industry as a turning point for citizen activism, with youth the drivers of a grassroots momentum to fight back.