The problem of smog is declining faster in Beijing than elsewhere in China, where air pollution remains at hazardous levels, reports Greenpeace. Chinese authorities, meanwhile, are making a “big deal” of going after small-time or individual polluters rather than industrial polluters. Why the smoke screen?
The Yangtze River has been slated to accommodate yet another project in the name of “development” and “drought prevention”: the Dian Zhong Water Diversion Project, a 661-kilometer endeavour with some high hopes pinned to it.
Guo Yushan and He Zhengjun, detained former members of the influential Beijing Transition Institute (now shuttered), have been released on bail by Chinese authorities. Some analysts see the move as a symbolic concession to US concerns over Beijing’s human rights record. What might their release mean going forward? Radio Free Asia reports.
A new draft law spooks foreign not-for-profit groups working in China.
Hydro development of the Mekong River is causing downstream flow to become uneven, driving fish away and throwing the region’s food security into jeopardy. The Nation reports.
This terrific opinion piece by Xiao Shu, a former columnist for China’s outspoken Southern Weekly newspaper, gets right to the point in saying the country’s “calamitous cycle of man-made disasters is the direct result of a dysfunctional government.” The answer: Give power back to the people.
Chinese authorities are hoping a large-scale rollout of hydropower can help to reduce toxic smog but, in addition to the high financial and environmental costs, many experts are skeptical that more hydropower means less coal.
“The Three Gorges Dam must be dismantled, and China’s political system must be changed,” writes veteran Chinese journalist Xiao Shu in this piece first published by the Taipei-based online news site, Storm Media. “To a great extent,” the author continues, “the Three Gorges Dam is the most apt metaphor for China’s political system.” A significant must-read.
The party’s attempts to project confidence do little to disguise its panic: It is beset by economic strife, antagonism between officials and the people, corruption, ecological disasters, unrest in Xinjiang and Tibet, and its own sense of ideological crisis.
Chinese authorities are well aware how governments and bar organizations around the world feel about their fierce crackdown on human-rights lawyers. But the country’s commercial lawyers—including international firms active in China—have been relatively quiet. Why so? The American Lawyer reports.
China’s increasing financial and economic assertiveness suggests its star is only set to rise on the world stage and that has prompted some major swagger on the part of its leaders. Swagger the nation’s long-term view doesn’t warrant. Commentary by John Robson.
Two of the most populous nations—China and India—are building hundreds of dams in a violently active geologic zone.
China must free Guo Yushan and He Zhengjun and restore confidence in their country.
On July 9, more than 100 lawyers in China issued an open letter on the Internet calling for an end to the shuttering of public interest groups and the detention and prosecution of individuals working for the public good.
A massive landslide this week is only the latest natural disaster critics believe the Three Gorges Dam has caused—even officials admit there have been 70% more landslides and bank collapses in the dam’s reservoir area since it was built 12 years ago. Lily Kuo for Quartz reports.