(May 29, 2013) Public pressure for transparency over pollution concerns has compelled authorities in China’s southern province of Guangdong to name the producers of rice tainted with cadmium, reports say.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(March 1, 2013) A new study, published by Probe International, reveals that China’s Three Gorges Dam reservoir has become a cesspool of industrial and urban sewage because of inadequate treatment and the damming of the river. Legal reforms to enforce higher standards and penalties for polluters are the only hope to rein the crisis in.
(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.
(November 30, 2012) Chinese scientists have begun an expedition to count how many endangered finless porpoise remain in the Yangtze River. A similar survey in 2006 found only 1,800 of the animals, considered a national treasure, as well as a symbol of the mighty river itself and a reflection of the great waterway’s health.
(November 2, 2012) The power of protest in China continues to gain momentum as yet another show of strength in numbers by protesters in Ningbo, an affluent port city of 3.4 million people, has halted a plan to expand petrochemical production in nearby Zhenhai.
(October 18, 2010) 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.”
(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.
(August 9, 2012) A new book on human security and China features a chapter by Patricia Adams and Dai Qing of Probe International that asks ‘at what cost China’s rise?’. Dai Qing argues, at great cost.
(July 31, 2012) A large public demonstration in the city of Qidong over a planned industrial waste pipeline has led to its shutdown by city officials. The Qidong protest, prompted by environmental concerns, follows other demonstrations against projects elsewhere.
(July 20, 2012) Lakes in large number, once a plentiful distinction for the province of Hubei, are vanishing after years of “growth” without rule of law.
(July 17, 2012) No city in China provides safe tap water to all of its residents, claims a new report by Caixin Online. Water treatment is too costly for city budgets, say some officials; others say even when properly treated, water pollution and old pipes compromise tap water.
(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.