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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Taihu Lake’ Category

Wife of Arrested China Activist Try to Sue Environment Watchdog

Posted by Author on June 11, 2007

Reuters, Tue Jun 5, 2007-

BEIJING (Reuters) – The wife of a detained green activist, once hailed a hero for saving a huge lake now covered in thick algae, is trying to sue the state environment watchdog for naming a polluted city a model of environmental virtue.

Xu Jiehua’s husband was arrested after he reported the worsening pollution at Taihu Lake, China’s third largest.

Xu sued the State Environmental Protection Administration last month for naming Yixing, in the prosperous eastern province of Jiangsu, as a model city, she told Reuters.

“The pollution here is very serious and there are lots of complaints from residents,” Xu said of the city known for its clay and teaware. “We do not think the city is qualified to be a model city for good environment,” she said.

The Beijing First People’s Intermediate Court, where she lodged the case, had so far refused to take up the case, she said, adding that she would continue trying to start legal proceedings until SEPA withdrew the award.

Her husband, Wu Lihong, a candidate in 2005 in a national campaign to name 10 people who “moved China” with their service to society, was arrested in April and will face trial on June 12 charged with extortion and blackmail.

“I feel very sad for my husband, and I have been forbidden to visit him since he was arrested,” Xu said.

“Only our lawyer was granted a visit once, and Lihong told her that he was tortured and she saw bruises on his body,” she said.

Detention and harassment of activists is common in China.

In 2006, a court in neighbouring Zhejiang sentenced an environmental activist to a year and a half in prison for “illegally obtaining state secrets”.

Taihu Lake, with an area of 2,420 square km (934 square miles) and a shoreline of 400 km (250 miles), straddles the border of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces and is home to more than 60 kinds of fish.

Xinhua said tap water in eastern Wuxi was back to normal after the algae, fed by industrial and agricultural waste, caused a drinking water crisis.

The government had taken out 6,000 tonnes of algae, closed some chemical factories and diverted water from the Yangtze river, but experts said it did not solve key problems, the Beijing News said.

origina report from Reuters

China Charges Taihu Lake Environmental Activist With Extortion

Posted in Activist, China, Environment, Health, Human Rights, Lake, Law, News, People, pollution, SE China, Social, Taihu Lake, water, Women | Comments Off on Wife of Arrested China Activist Try to Sue Environment Watchdog

China Charges Taihu Lake Environmental Activist With Extortion

Posted by Author on June 6, 2007

Monsters And Critics, Jun 6, 2007-

Beijing – Prosecutors have charged environmental activist Wu Lihong with extortion from industrial plants that he accused of polluting Taihu Lake in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, state media said on Wednesday.

The prosecutors in Jiangsu’s Yixing city accused Wu, who was once nominated as one of China’s top 10 environmentalists, of extorting 55,000 yuan (6,875 dollars) by threatening to expose the plants’ pollution, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The agency quoted prosecutors as saying Wu’s diary listed ‘blackmail targets and showed amounts of money he had planned to extort from each factory or enterprise.’

The Yixing court had not set a date for the trial of Wu, 39, who had fought for years against the pollution of Taihu.

Water supplies from the lake had to be cut to 2 million people in nearby Wuxi city in late May because excessive pollution had promoted the growth of a pungent blue-green algae.

After police arrested Wu in mid-April, a friend said police had initially accused him of contacting foreign media.

Wu had worked for years to uncover illegal water pollution by businesses and had denounced the inaction of corrupt officials. He has repeatedly been arrested and threatened.

Wu grew up beside Taihu, the third-largest freshwater lake in China, which is located in the Yangtze Delta plain on the border of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.

He began lobbying the central government early last year, arguing that Yixing had failed to meet environmental protection standards.

Despite his protests, the national environmental protection bureau awarded the title of model city to Yixing in November.

Wu took scores of photographs and nearly 100 samples of polluted water, and he and his friend had planned to take their case to a Beijing court on April 22, World Earth Day.

Relatives and a lawyer were not allowed to meet Wu after his arrest on April 13, his wife said last month to Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Wu’s wife, Xu Jiehua, said Chinese authorities had advised her not to have any more contact with foreign media.

‘They warned me that it would be better if I didn’t speak any more to foreign journalists or it could hurt my husband,’ Xu said.

Taihu is known for its fish industry and as a tourist attraction because of its scenic beauty, but it is also highly polluted.

The lake provides much of the drinking water in the thickly populated area despite it worsening pollution, caused by discharges of wastewater and from factories.
© 2007 dpa – Deutsche Presse-Agentur

original rport from Monsters And Critics

Posted in Activist, censorship, China, Company, Economy, Environment, Human Rights, Lake, Law, News, People, Politics, pollution, SE China, Social, Speech, Taihu Lake | 1 Comment »

Photo: Polluted China Taihu Lake Water Turns Green

Posted by Author on June 1, 2007

Polluted Tahu Lake water cause water panic in nearby city Wuxi, in Jiangsu province, eastern China. Story: Smelly Tap Water Cause Panic Water Buying in East China City

Polluted Taihu Lake, 1 Polluted Taihu Lake, 2

Polluted Taihu Lake, 3Polluted Taihu Lake, 4

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Smelly Tap Water Cause Panic Water Buying in East China City

Posted in China, East China, Environment, Health, Lake, Life, News, Photo, pollution, Taihu Lake, water | Comments Off on Photo: Polluted China Taihu Lake Water Turns Green

Smelly Tap Water Cause Panic Water Buying in East China City

Posted by Author on May 31, 2007

Independent Online, South Africa, May 31 2007-

Beijing – Panic water buying in a major eastern Chinese city has broken out with millions hoarding drinking supplies after public taps became tainted with polluted lake water, state press reported on Thursday.

Stores in Wuxi city, Jiangsu province, began rationing sales of bottled water after the outbreak of blue-green algae contaminated the drinking supplies of the city of five million people, Xinhua news agency reported.

The industrial city on the lower reaches of the Yangtze river relies on the once scenic Taihu lake for its drinking supplies, it said.

“Citizens complained that tap water was so tainted and smelly that they could not wash with it,” the report said.

State television on Thursday showed lines of residents buying and carting off bottled water, with many shop shelves already empty.

Xinhua said the price of an 18-litre bottle of water in Wuxi sold for 50 yuan (about R50) on Wednesday, more than six times higher than the normal price of eight yuan.

Water levels on Taihu lake are at their lowest in 50 years due to a lack of rain and high temperatures, while the inflow from the Yangtze river has not been strong enough to wash out the pollution, the agency said.

The lake has been under stress for years as untreated sewage from local towns and villages as well as the region’s booming chemical and light manufacturing industry has left the water choked with pollutants, local press reports have said for years.

Officials did not say how long the crisis would last, but one biologist said that the algae bloom in Taihu lake could last four or five months.

“Concerning the present situation, if we don’t take effective measures, the algae bloom on Taihu could last up to five months,” Hu Weiping, a biologist with Nanjing Academy of Sciences, told the China News Service.

Hu said that due to a lack of incoming water, the temperatures in the lake reached the highest in 25 years in April, providing ripe conditions for the algae bloom.

Algae blooms threaten most Chinese freshwater lakes and are chiefly caused by untreated sewage and high concentrations of nitrogen, which is a main ingredient in soap powders and fertilisers. – Sapa-AFP

original report from Independent Online

Posted in China, City resident, East China, Environment, Health, Life, News, People, pollution, Social, Taihu Lake, water | Comments Off on Smelly Tap Water Cause Panic Water Buying in East China City