Status of Chinese People

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    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
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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 ‘Environment’ Category

Nature Environment

Forced Evictions Over Dam in Southwestern China

Posted by Author on April 26, 2010

Radio Free Asia, 2010-04-26 –

— Authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan have begun demolishing houses and forcing people from their homes near the Pubugou hydroelectic power project, which is due to go into operation soon.

“They are forcibly demolishing houses,” a resident of Hanyuan county, where the evictions took place, said.

“They all came together in the night. The armed police, the regular police, the county Party secretary and officials,” said the resident, surnamed Cao.

The controversial Pubugou project, a series of ladder-like dams on Sichuan’s mountainous Dadu river, has sparked protests and armed confrontation in the past, with the army moving into the area to quell angry protests in 2004.

A total of 100,000 people will eventually be displaced by the project, which is part of Beijing’s key infrastructure investment program aimed at boosting economic growth and relieving poverty in China’s lagging western regions.

Villagers have kept up an angry and vocal protest, but according to a company announcement, the third phase of the Dadu project at Pubugou is scheduled to begin operation any day now.

‘Dead of night’

“By about 10 p.m. there were a few hundred [residents] surrounded by them,” Hanyuan resident Cao said.

“The Chinese Communist Party is supposed to be stout-hearted and honest. How come they are doing things in the dead of night?”

He said the demolition work went on until around 5 a.m. Sunday.

“They demolished one house,” Cao said.

“They were at work until dawn. They said it had to be demolished.”

He said the evicted family had nowhere else to go, and were now living in a tent on the mountainside.

A second Hanyuan resident surnamed Bai said the government was behaving unreasonably.

“They don’t listen to reason and they don’t even follow their own policies,” Bai said.

After the last violent standoff in 2004, the central government ordered more compensation for relocating residents from 320 yuan (U.S. $38) per square meter of living space to 428 yuan (U.S. $51), according to local media reports.( Radio Free Asia)

Posted in China, corruption, dam, Economy, Environment, Forced Evictions, housing, Life, News, Official, People, Politics, Sichuan, Social, World | 1 Comment »

Shocking Photos: Fish Left in the Cracked Dry Mud During the Drought in China

Posted by Author on April 18, 2010

The drought in south China’s Yunnan Province has lasted for more than 4 months. According to the weather forecast, there will not be any measurable rain in the coming days.

Following photos show a shocking sight at the Degehaizi Reservoir in Damogu Town of Luliang County, Yunnan Province, south China– fishes stuck in the dried land, with their mouths open wide, dead in their struggling position.

The Degehaizi Reservoir in Damogu Town of Luliang County, once with a capacity of 1.6 million cubic meters of water, is now arid dry. The palm-wide cracks were a stunning sight. Some of the cracks are as much as half a meter deep. Fish can be found stuck in the dried land, with their mouths open wide, dead in their struggling position.

Arid dry Degehaizi Reservoir in Yunnan Province, palm-wide cracks, with mouth-open fish stuck in.

Posted in China, disaster, Drought, Environment, Life, News, Photo, SW China, Yunnan | Comments Off on Shocking Photos: Fish Left in the Cracked Dry Mud During the Drought in China

China Oil Spill Threatens Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Posted by Author on April 5, 2010

VOA News, Apr. 5, 2010-

Australian officials warn that the Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger of being further contaminated by oil after a Chinese ship ran aground off Queensland.  The vessel is stuck on a sandbar and has already leaked at least two tons of dark sludge into the water.

A frantic clean-up operation is under way where the Chinese-registered coal ship, Shen Neng 1, is aground in an area where commercial shipping is restricted to protect the world’s largest coral reef.

About two tons of oil has seeped into the water so far from the damaged vessel, creating a slick up to three kilometers long.

Aircraft have sprayed chemicals in an attempt to disperse the contamination.

There are concerns that the ship, which ran aground Saturday, may break up and spill 950 tons of oil into the sea.

Salvage experts are on board to try to prevent that from happening.

The Queensland state premier, Anna Bligh, says the emergency team will help to minimize the environmental damage……. (more details from VOA News)

Posted in Asia, Australia, China, Environment, News, pollution, water, World | 3 Comments »

China dam plans raise Mekong fears

Posted by Author on April 1, 2010

By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing and Tim Johnston in Bangkok, The Financial Times, Apr. 1, 2010-

China will ramp up construction of dams, reservoirs and wells in response to a severe drought in the country’s south-west, but the move is likely to raise tensions with downstream countries, which have already blamed reduced river flows on Beijing.

Most of south-west China has been affected by the drought, which began in November and has left more than 24m people without adequate access to drinking water. Downstream in Thailand, cargo boats have been stranded along the banks of the Mekong, which is at its lowest level in half a century, while fishermen complain of empty nets.

Beijing has launched emergency drought relief operations involving 260,000 soldiers and officials yesterday said this force had drilled 18,000 wells, built 4,307 emergency water diversion works and laid 20,000 kilometres of pipeline.

“We must prepare ourselves to fight a long war against this severe drought,” said Liu Ning, secretary-general of China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters. “With so many government departments working in synergy, we will surely triumph in our battle,” he said, while forecasting the drought would last until mid-May.

The south-western province of Yunnan, which has been hit hardest by the drought, has allocated Rmb27bn ($4bn, €2.9bn, £2.6bn) to build reservoirs and dams, officials said.

China’s water management policies have come in for criticism from the countries of the Mekong basin, where 60m people are directly or indirectly dependent on the river.

“We can see the level of the water is getting lower,” Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Thai prime minister, said this month. “We will ask the foreign ministry to talk with a representative from China in terms of co-operation and in terms of management systems in the region.”

The Mekong River Commission, which includes Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, will meet this weekend to discuss the water shortage and future developments along the river……. (Financial Times)

Posted in Asia, China, dam, Environment, Life, Mekong, News, River, SW China, World, Yunnan | Comments Off on China dam plans raise Mekong fears

Worst-ever dust storm from China hits Taiwan

Posted by Author on March 22, 2010

Taiwan News, Staff Writer, Mar. 22, 2010-

The worst-ever
dust storms from China forced air quality in Northern Taiwan sharply down yesterday, the Environmental Protection Administration said.

A total of 24 observation stations across the island recorded more than 1,000 micrograms of dust per cubic meter and a further ten showed values at damaging levels, according to the EPA. Skies turned a yellowish grey as there was no rain to wash away the dust, the Central Weather Bureau said.

The worst levels of pollution were recorded on the island of Matsu close to the coast of China’s Fujian Province, in Keelung on the North Coast and in several Taipei City districts, EPA official Chu Yu-chi said. Matsu airport was closed all day due to poor visibility, reports said.

Doctors advised people to limit outside activities to the barest minimum, and to wear masks or even goggles when riding a motorcycle. Patients suffering from breathing problems even before the storm should wait a few days until after it had left before resuming normal outside activities, reports said.

The number of patients recording breathing problems increased by 20 percent to 30 percent because of irritation by the dust, reports said. People wearing contact lenses felt irritation of the eyes, according to media reports quoting physicians…….(more details from Taiwan News)

Posted in air, Asia, China, Environment, Fujian, Health, Life, News, SE China, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on Worst-ever dust storm from China hits Taiwan

Korean Peninsula Blanketed by Worst Yellow Dust from China

Posted by Author on March 21, 2010

By Bae Ji-sook, The Korea Times, Staff Reporter, Mar. 21, 2010-

The Korean Peninsula experienced its worst case of yellow dust ever recorded Saturday and Sunday, leading the weather administration to advise people to take extra care as more is expected this month.

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) posted a special yellow dust warning for most parts of the country Saturday.

The dust in the air marked 2,684 micrograms per cubic meter in Daegu; 2,408 micrograms in Jindo, South Jeolla Province; and 1,048 micrograms in Sokcho, Gangwon Province. These are the worst figures since the KMA started taking dust density measurements in 2005.

According to the agency, the special warning is posted only when the density is over 800 micrograms per cubic meter. The KMA posted its first such warning in 2007.

Drivers and pedestrians said the thick dust clouded their visibility.

The particles also kept many people from going outdoors for fear of respiratory problems.

A KMA spokesman said the dust storm was initiated in the Gobi. “Dust from Neimenggu (Inner Mongolia) and the yellow soil of the Hwangho River valley (China) have also contributed to the record amount of pollutants in the air.

Another dust storm is heading here from the inner part of China, likely causing more dust across the nation by Monday,” he said.

Air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide blowing in from China have long been a headache here……. (more details from The Korea Times)

Posted in air, Asia, China, Environment, Life, News, pollution, South Korea | Comments Off on Korean Peninsula Blanketed by Worst Yellow Dust from China

China factory closed amid lead poisoning fears- at least 88 children tested positive

Posted by Author on March 15, 2010

AFP, Mar. 15, 2010-

BEIJING — Authorities in southwestern China have closed a factory after nearly 100 people — most of them children — tested positive for lead poisoning, state media said Monday.

A total of 94 people in Sichuan province, including 88 children, were found to have excessive levels of lead in their blood and officials suspect a nearby factory may be at fault, the province’s news website reported.

Seven children — the youngest of which is just over one year old — are being treated in hospital and the others are being monitored at home.

Local officials said a preliminary investigation had revealed a firm making lead out of used batteries — Longchang Zhongyi Alloy Company — could be the cause of the health scare.

It was not immediately clear how the residents were poisoned but officials are currently testing surface and well water, vegetables and soil within 800 metres of the plant.

It is the latest in a series of lead poisoning incidents across China that has highlighted the human cost of pollution in a nation that has so far prioritised economic growth over environmental protection.

Last year, authorities in central Henan province said they would relocate 15,000 people away from smelting plants in one area after nearly 1,000 children tested positive for lead poisoning.

Excessive levels of lead are considered hazardous particularly to children, who can experience stunted growth and even mental retardation……. (more details from AFP)

Posted in Children, China, Environment, Health, Life, medical, News, People, pollution, Sichuan, Social, SW China, World | Comments Off on China factory closed amid lead poisoning fears- at least 88 children tested positive

10 China Myths for the New Decade- Myth #10: carbon emissions

Posted by Author on February 8, 2010

Derek Scissors, Ph.D., Research Fellow in Asia Economic Policy in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, via, January 28, 2010 –

<< Previous

Myth #10: China has an official program to substantially cut its carbon emissions.

Truth: The goal is to cut carbon emissions intensity. Actual emissions will soar in the next decade.

China has not vowed to cut emissions but rather emissions intensity, in this case measured in emissions per unit of GDP. That is, the commitment is to reduce emissions only relative to the size of the economy; if China’s economy continues to grow, so will total emissions. And GDP comes in multiple flavors, with different kinds of inflation adjustments plus adjustments for the currency being used. This leaves a great deal of room to maneuver.

China’s 2005 carbon dioxide emissions, for instance, were approximately 5.43 billion tons, or approximately 2.95 tons of carbon dioxide for every 10,000 yuan of GDP.[22] The pledge is to cut carbon emissions intensity by 40 percent to 45 percent from the 2005 level, which would put emissions intensity near 1.75 tons carbon dioxide per 10,000 yuan of GDP.

From 2000 to 2009, simple GDP in yuan increased about 3.7 times. If that rate of nominal growth continues for the next decade, simple GDP will approach 135 trillion yuan in 2019. Using the target emissions intensity, carbon emissions in 2019 would more than quadruple over 2005, past 23 billion tons.

This is a numerical worst case and it is far more likely that China’s pledge refers to some adjusted version, not simple GDP. But which adjustment?

The difference between the arithmetic change of GDP from year to year and real GDP growth is called the deflator. It is all but impossible to make sense of China’s GDP deflator over time. With 10 years to play with, the Communist Party can announce whatever adjusted GDP it wants. Carbon dioxide emissions are unlikely to quadruple, but they very possibly will double, and Beijing will still be able to claim success in its intensity program.

Amid all the uncertainty, the best bet for the next decade is that the PRC rejects international estimates of its emissions the way it rejects international monitoring now. Beijing will substitute its own measurements, which will have some familiar magical properties. (to be cont’d)

Original from The Heritage Foundation

Posted in air, China, Climate, Economy, Environment, GDP, Investment, News, Opinion, World | Comments Off on 10 China Myths for the New Decade- Myth #10: carbon emissions

10 China Myths for the New Decade- Myth #9: greenhouse gas emissions

Posted by Author on February 7, 2010

Derek Scissors, Ph.D., Research Fellow in Asia Economic Policy in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, via, January 28, 2010 –

<< Previous

Myth #9: China’s greenhouse gas emissions are about the same as America’s.

Truth: China’s emissions are as much as 25 percent larger, and the gap is widening every day.

The effort to limit greenhouse-gas emissions is not usually thought of as a topic when discussing the Chinese economy, but it should be. By itself, the PRC is set to generate the majority of the world’s carbon emissions over the next decade.[20] In contrast, China’s population will fall below 20 percent of the world total. The emissions story is about China’s development model, not size.

In 2006, most monitoring agencies put American and Chinese emissions at roughly equal levels. Three years, however, is a great deal in Chinese industry time. A very conservative estimate puts Chinese emissions growing by 10 percent more than America’s in 2007 and the first half of 2008, before the financial shock hit.

In the nearly 18 months since, the PRC’s extremely aggressive stimulus and orientation toward heavy industry almost surely mean its emissions growthhas remained rapid. Coal production is still expanding between 12 percent and 13 percent annually. The industries most cited by the central government as overinvested and expanding too fast– steel, cement, and aluminum–are major greenhouse-gas emitters.[21] As a result, it is entirely possible that 2009 Chinese emissions were 25 percent larger than U.S. emissions.

All the unanswered questions about Chinese economic data apply to the environment as well. Chinese GDP is likely underestimated; so is energy use and pollution. Government monitoring is skewed by limited funding and political motives. There have been repeated failures to keep unsafe coal mines and outdated steel plants closed, and their output is often ignored because they should have been shut down. The true quantity of Chinese greenhouse emissions is uncertain. (to be cont’d)

Original from The Heritage Foundation

Posted in air, China, Climate, Economy, Environment, GDP, Investment, News, Opinion, USA | Comments Off on 10 China Myths for the New Decade- Myth #9: greenhouse gas emissions

Oil Spill From Broken Pipeline Threatens China’s Yellow River

Posted by Author on January 4, 2010

NTDTV, Jan. 4, 2010-

39,000 gallons of diesel oil spilled into the Wei River last Wednesday.

The leak was from a pipeline owned by China National Petroleum Corporation in northwestern Shaanxi Province.

Concerns are high because the Wei River is a tributary of the Yellow River, a major source of water for millions of people.

According to state television reports, the Yellow River and other sources of water have not been contaminated by the spill.

But diesel has been found in water 20 miles from the leak, and residents have been warned against using any of the river water.

A preliminary investigation showed that the pipeline damage was caused by construction work by a third party.

China periodically faces spills into rivers that result in water supplies being cut off.

The most serious incident was in 2005 when an explosion at an industrial plant sent toxic chemicals streaming into the Songhua River. That forced the shutdown of water supplies to nearly four million people.

Run-off from heavy fertilizer use, industrial waste and untreated sewage also caused a foul-smelling algae bloom on a lake in Jiangsu Province in 2007 that left tap water undrinkable in a city of more than two million people.


Posted in China, Environment, News, NW China, pollution, River, Shaanxi, water, World | Comments Off on Oil Spill From Broken Pipeline Threatens China’s Yellow River

How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room (1)

Posted by Author on December 23, 2009

Mark Lynas, The Guardian, UK, Tuesday 22 December 2009-

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful “deal” so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.

China’s strategy was simple: block the open negotiations for two weeks, and then ensure that the closed-door deal made it look as if the west had failed the world’s poor once again. And sure enough, the aid agencies, civil society movements and environmental groups all took the bait. The failure was “the inevitable result of rich countries refusing adequately and fairly to shoulder their overwhelming responsibility”, said Christian Aid. “Rich countries have bullied developing nations,” fumed Friends of the Earth International.

All very predictable, but the complete opposite of the truth. Even George Monbiot, writing in yesterday’s Guardian, made the mistake of singly blaming Obama. But I saw Obama fighting desperately to salvage a deal, and the Chinese delegate saying “no”, over and over again. Monbiot even approvingly quoted the Sudanese delegate Lumumba Di-Aping, who denounced the Copenhagen accord as “a suicide pact, an incineration pact, in order to maintain the economic dominance of a few countries”.

Sudan behaves at the talks as a puppet of China; one of a number of countries that relieves the Chinese delegation of having to fight its battles in open sessions. It was a perfect stitch-up. China gutted the deal behind the scenes, and then left its proxies to savage it in public.

Here’s what actually went on late last Friday night, as heads of state from two dozen countries met behind closed doors. Obama was at the table for several hours, sitting between Gordon Brown and the Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi. The Danish prime minister chaired, and on his right sat Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the UN. Probably only about 50 or 60 people, including the heads of state, were in the room. I was attached to one of the delegations, whose head of state was also present for most of the time.

What I saw was profoundly shocking. The Chinese premier, Wen Jinbao, did not deign to attend the meetings personally, instead sending a second-tier official in the country’s foreign ministry to sit opposite Obama himself. The diplomatic snub was obvious and brutal, as was the practical implication: several times during the session, the world’s most powerful heads of state were forced to wait around as the Chinese delegate went off to make telephone calls to his “superiors”…….(more details from The Guardian)

Posted in China, Climate, Environment, News, Politics, World | Comments Off on How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room (1)

China Stands Accused of Systematically Wrecking Global Climate Deal

Posted by Author on December 20, 2009

Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor in Copenhagen, and Jonathan Owen in London report, The Independent, UK, Dec. 20, 2009-

China “systematically wrecked” the Copenhagen climate summit because it feared being presented with a legally binding target to cut the country’s soaring carbon emissions, a senior official from an EU country, present during the negotiations, told The Independent on Sunday yesterday.

The accusation, backed up by a separate eye-witness account from the heart of the talks of obstructive Chinese behaviour, reflected widespread anger among many delegations about the nation’s actions at the conference.

The concluding agreement about tackling global climate change was widely criticised yesterday for being too weak, and was seen as a dashing the hopes of many concerned about the warming threat. The lack of teeth in the “Copenhagen accord” – which, it is accepted on all sides, is inadequate for fighting climate change – was widely blamed by environmentalists on President Barack Obama for not making bigger US commitments to cut carbon emissions.

Yet the key element of the agreement, a timetable for making its commitments legally binding by this time next year, was taken out at the last minute at the insistence of the Chinese, who otherwise would have refused to agree to the deal.

Also removed, at Chinese insistence, was a statement of a global goal to cut carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2050, and for the developed world to cut its emissions by 80 per cent by the same date. The latter is regarded as essential if the world is to stay below the danger threshold of a two-degree Centigrade temperature rise.

The “50-50” and “50-80” goals have already been accepted by the G20 group of nations and world leaders who were negotiating the agreement, including Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel of Germany, Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Kevin Rudd of Australia. They were said to be amazed at the Chinese demands, especially over the developed nations’ goal. The European official said: “China thinks that by 2050 it will be a developed country and they do not want to constrain their growth.”

China, with its rapidly expanding economy, has now overtaken the US as the world’s biggest CO2 emitter, and although at the meeting it agreed for first time to a target to constrain its emissions growth in an international instrument, it is desperate not to have that made legally binding, the official said. He added: “This conference has been systematically wrecked by the Chinese government, which has adopted tactics that were inexplicable at first as we had been led to believe they wanted an agreement.”

Even more pointed allegations about Chinese behaviour came last night from another source at the heart of the negotiations.

The source was present as heads of state and government drafted the final document, and gave the IoS an astonishing eyewitness account. He said: “There were 25 heads of state in the room; this was about six o’clock on Friday night. To my right there was President Obama in the corner, with Gordon Brown on one side, the Ethiopian President on the other, the President of Mexico, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea…

“If China had not been in that room you would have had a deal which would have had everyone popping champagne corks. But this was the first sign that China is emerging as a superpower, which is not interested in global government, is not interested in multilateral governance that affects its own sovereignty or growth. You could tell this lack of engagement through the process; they play a much cleverer game than anyone else. They were running rings around the Americans.

“It’s always easier to block than to try and get something. The Americans will probably be given some of the blame because that’s the conventional narrative all the pressure groups have – that the rich countries are bad, they didn’t give enough money or they would not create enough mitigation targets.”

The source went on: “But the truth is, I was in that meeting and the ‘Annex 1’, rich countries had mitigation targets of 80 per cent by 2050 which everyone supported, and it was taken out by the Chinese. The deal was watered down because the Chinese wouldn’t accept any targets of any sort, for anybody. Not themselves or anybody else. Legally binding stuff was taken out by the Chinese as well and there was a lot of anger in the room. It was controlled but it was very, very clear what the feelings were.

“The Chinese were happy as they’d win either way. If the process collapsed they’d win because they don’t have to do anything and they know the rich countries will get the blame.

“If the deal doesn’t collapse because everyone is so desperate to accommodate them that they water it down to something completely meaningless, they get their way again. Either way they win. I think all the other world leaders knew that by that stage and were just furious that they couldn’t do anything about it.

“It was extraordinary to see, and incredibly worrying for what it bodes for the future of our planet in this century. China is not going to get less powerful, and if this is the way that it’s going to behave, then we have problems.”

Ed Miliband, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change who led the negotiations for Britain, said last night: “It’s disappointing that the Chinese insisted we should not commit to a global 50 per cent emissions cut, and it’s disappointing that they didn’t support a legally binding treaty. I think both of these are necessary.”

Additional reporting by Rebecca Buchan and Claire Cooper

Eyewitness: Amid the confusion and chaos, we waited in vain for the hand of history on our shoulders

It was colourful, chaotic and confusing. But the sense most people will probably walk away with after nearly two weeks of talks in Copenhagen is one of intense disappointment and deflation……. (more details from The Independent)

Posted in China, Climate, Environment, News, Politics, World | 1 Comment »

One woman’s fight against pollution in China

Posted by Author on December 15, 2009

By Marianne Barriaux (AFP) , Dec. 15, 2009-

XINXIANG, China — After years of campaigning to clean up the sludge-filled rivers and acrid air of central China’s Henan province, Tian Guirong no longer has a bed to call her own and says she fears for her life.

As world leaders huddle in Copenhagen for crunch talks on a global climate change deal, Tian’s story is an example of the huge struggle faced by some developing countries trying to fight pollution.

Her group, the Xinxiang Environmental Protection Volunteers Association, has helped close more than 100 polluting factories — plants she says were responsible for illness and death among local residents.

“I’m scared, I don’t dare sleep at a fixed place. Tonight I’ll be at my son’s, tomorrow at my daughter’s, or I stay at my association,” Tian told AFP in an interview at her office in a derelict former factory in Xinxiang city.

“We receive threatening phone calls, and volunteers have also got phone calls at home late at night,” she said, adding she thinks those who call are thugs hired by angry factory owners.

Tian first started her environmental work in 1998, recycling used batteries……. (more details from AFP)

Posted in Activist, Central China, China, Economy, Environment, Henan, News, People, pollution, Social, waste, World | Comments Off on One woman’s fight against pollution in China

China’s Three Gorges Dam ‘a model for disaster’

Posted by Author on October 31, 2009

The Ecologist, 30th October, 2009 –

International Rivers has highlighted the environmental damage caused by the world’s biggest hydropower project amid concern about plans for two new dams in China

China’s Yangtze River hydropower project has been a ‘model for disaster’, according to a river protection charity, which is concerned about new proposals for similar projects.

The Three Gorges Dam, whose reservoir is due to reach its final height of 175 metres over the next few weeks, will be able to produce enough electricity to meet close to one tenth of China’s current electricity demands.

However, Rivers International say the Dam has driven fish species to extinction, caused frequent toxic algae blooms and is subjecting the area to erosion and frequent landslides.

Future warnings

The group says that the environment impacts of the dam are likely to worsen with time.

‘The submergence of hundreds of factories, mines and waste dumps and the presence of massive industrial centers upstream are creating a festering bog of effluent, silt, industrial pollutants and rubbish in the reservoir,’ the report’s authors write.

Policy director Peter Bosshard said the Chinese government was attempting to replicate the model of the dam. More hydropower proposals have been put forward for the Lancang (Upper Mekong) and Nu (Salween) Rivers.

‘The Three Gorges Dam is a model of the past,’ he said. ‘Its impacts need to be independently evaluated before more dams are being built on the Yangtze River. There are smarter ways of generating energy and managing floods than by building outdated mega-projects.’

The Ecologist

Posted in China, dam, disaster, Environment, News, Three Gorges, World | Comments Off on China’s Three Gorges Dam ‘a model for disaster’

Over 2,000 Protest Pollution and Arrests in Southeast China Village

Posted by Author on October 24, 2009

By Gu Qing’er, Epoch Times Staff,  Oct 24, 2009-Over 2,000 residents from Paibian Village, Guangdong Province, protest in front of the Putian Town Hall the morning of Oct. 22 , 2009

An ongoing struggle between residents and a local ceramic factory over pollution has erupted in protesting, arrests, and riot police presence. When a dozen resident activists of Paibian Village, Jiedong County, Guangdong Province were arrested the morning of Oct. 22, thousands went to the local regime officials, demanding their release.

An Epoch Times reporter interviewed villagers at the scene. According to a villager surnamed Lu, there were no legal procedures, and no one knew where the arrested villagers were taken. He said there were more than 2,000 people who joined the protest.

Another protester, surnamed Chen, said that his friend’s husband was not only arrested, but his cash and cell phone were confiscated.

“What kind of policemen were they! They did not show any ID, but just broke down the door and dashed into the house. I saw policemen taking one woman away in her underwear,” Chen said.

“It’s quite chaotic, and riot police are here,” he said. “The head official is not coming out to talk to us.”

Victims of Factory Pollution

Villagers complain that the exhaust from a ceramic factory has been jeopardizing the quality of life and health of local residents.

“The exhaust smells like disinfectants. It’s horrible and makes me dizzy,” Chen said. “My neighbor’s bamboo shoots stopped growing, and the school children have to cover their mouths and noses.”

The ceramic factory in question is located less than 170 feet from a residential area and an elementary school with 900 students. Students are reported to have symptoms of coughing, sore throats, dizziness, and chest pain.

There is no tap water in the village and residents drink from wells they have dug. The factory also releases waste water into the ground, polluting local sources of water. Residents have complained about loud noises from the factory as well.

Even neighboring villages are affected—residents complain that wind-born pollutants have caused a large number of crops to wither.
Taking the Issue into their Own Hands

Villagers at first approached the Bureau of Environmental Protection with their complaints, and were told the factory was being monitored and was unlicensed due to its failure to meet environmental standards. Local government officials took no action to assist the residents, and neither did the factory respond to complaints.

Two months ago, residents of the affected villages determined they would initiate action on their own. Thousands cooperated to set up roadblocks which stopped the factory from transporting materials. They also demanded that the ceramic factory move out of their area.

A fight broke out between residents and the factory owners the evening of Aug. 9. A resident told The Epoch Times that the factory owner threatened to run down residents with trucks. He also threatened to blow up an oil tank in the factory that would cause the whole village to burn.

The resident also reported that the owner bragged he had paid a town hall official a million yuan, and “he was not worried about us.”

– The Epochtimes

Posted in China, Economy, Environment, Guangdong, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, pollution, Protest, Rural, SE China, Social, World | 1 Comment »

Fujian Parents Protest New Lead Poisoning Outbreak

Posted by Author on September 18, 2009

NTDTV via youtube,Sep. 18, 2009-

Another outbreak of lead poisoning has been reported in China— this time in an industrial district of Fujian Province.

Radio Free Asia reports that since last Friday, parents in Jiaoyang County have gathered at a local battery factory. They say pollution from the Shanghang Huaqiang Battery Company is giving their kids lead poisoning.

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Lead Children Denied Tests by Official In Central China

Posted by Author on August 27, 2009

Radio Free Asia, Aug. 26, 2009-

HONG KONG—Promises by local government officials offering free blood tests to children affected by pollution from smelting plants in the central Chinese province of Hunan have yet to be fulfilled, residents and officials said.

An official at the hospital near worst-hit Wugang township, where more than 1,000 children are believed to have higher-than-normal levels of lead in their blood, said the hospital had not yet been told how to deal with the large numbers of worried parents trying to book tests.

“There are several dozen patients coming for blood tests every day, but I don’t know the actual patient numbers per day,” said an employee who answered the phone at the Wugang People’s Hospital.

“Senior management has requested a survey [of lead poisoning cases], and we will know the procedure in a few days’ time,” she added.

Local officials have promised the closure of privately owned zinc and manganese smelting plants after being hit by a wave of violent clashes between police and angry parents in central Hunan and northern Shaanxi provinces in recent weeks.

Official Chinese media also reported that free blood tests would be available for children affected by the polluting factories, but residents of Wugang say the authorities have yet to deliver on their promises.

Bribery alleged

“There are only three government permission slips for free individual blood tests for the whole village,” a mother surnamed Wang from Wugang said.

“Some parents are willing to pay the cost themselves in order to have their children checked. However, local hospitals have been bribed by someone, so the parents never see the correct results,” she said.

Another Wugang villager surnamed Zhang said she had been turned down for lead tests at several hospitals in the area.

“Some said there was no electricity, some said the machines weren’t working, and some said the maintenance staff hadn’t shown up for work at the right time, and so on,” Zhang said.

Some villagers even went as far as Hengyang city, taking their children to at least five hospitals, she said.

“But none of the children has actually been tested,” she said……. (more from The Radio fee Asia)

Posted in Central China, Children, China, Environment, Food, Health, Henan, Human Rights, Life, News, Official, People, pollution, Social, World | Comments Off on Lead Children Denied Tests by Official In Central China

1,300 Children Poisoned by Lead in Central China

Posted by Author on August 21, 2009

Radio Free Asia, Aug. 21, 2009-

HONG KONG—More than 1,300 children have been poisoned by lead from a year-old manganese factory in China’s central Hunan province, official media said, on the heels of another lead-poisoning scandal in nearby Shaanxi province.

The mass lead contamination in Wenping township, Hunan province, has led to charges that authorities have failed to adequately regulate toxins. Official media said it had opened in May last year without approval from local environmental authorities.

Sixty to 70 percent of children living near the factory showed unhealthy levels of lead in their blood, the official Xinhua news agency said.

A total of 851 children were found to have excessive lead levels in their blood, Xinhua news agency said. It said 155 children were still receiving hospital treatment, out of a total of 174 cases requiring hospitalization.

Authorities closed the factory, located near a kindergarten, primary school, and middle school, and detained two executives on suspicion of “causing severe environment pollution.”

An employee at the Wugang municipal government, contacted by telephone, said Wednesday that the manganese factory had been closed.

“The manganese mine has been shut down. Lead poison from industrial pollution is quite common in China. Our municipal leaders attached great importance to this incident and have taken many measures to deal with it,” the city employee, who asked to be identified by his surname, Huang, said.

“Wugang city has posted a notice in Hengjiang village, indicating that all residents who live within 2.5 kms of the manganese factory can go to the designated clinics to have medical exams and the government will pay for the cost. The municipal government has begun an investigation on the factory and whoever is responsible for the pollution will be held accountable,” he said.

Yang Xin, an environmental activist from Chengdu, Sichuan province, said this latest incident of lead poisoning—along with another reported last week in Shaanxi—show that China’s small- and medium-sized mining enterprises must be overhauled.

“Many small- and medium-sized mining enterprises face similar problems such as shortage of money and lack of technology,” Yang said.

“They are usually privately owned and operated and their owners seek profits only and care little about environmental protection. There is a trend that such phenomena are spreading out from China’s coastal areas to the mid-west regions.”

Some employ local residents, including children, who know little about industrial pollution. “They’re easy prey,” he said.

Protesters recently stormed the Dongling smelting works in Shaanxi, which they blamed for the lead poisoning of 851 children.

The Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Co. was ordered by environmental protection authorities in Fengxiang county to suspend lead and zinc production Aug. 6 following a public outcry.

Fengxiang county government has offered free blood tests for 1,016 children aged 14 and under from three villages of Changqing Township, official media reported.

Radio Free Asia

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China: U.S. Embassy Twitter Updates Report Air Quality “very unhealthy” “Hazardous” in Beijing

Posted by Author on August 16, 2009

By Grace Wu, Epoch Times Staff Aug 16, 2009 –

Despite official boasts of increased “blue sky days,” hourly Twitter updates from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing report air quality as “very unhealthy” and even “hazardous.”

“Blue sky days” are when the air quality is rated as “moderate,” averaging a reading of 100 or less on the Air Quality Index. Beijing’s Environmental Protection Bureau reported meeting its targeted 256 “blue sky days” per year, early last November.

On the same days that Beijing deems the air quality “moderate”, readings from the U.S. Embassy’s own monitoring station reflect otherwise, appearing to contradict official claims that air quality has significantly improved since the 2008 Olympics. On June 18, the embassy reported air quality as hazardous, while Beijing’s official data read “slightly polluted.”

Part of the reason for the difference may be a matter of standards. The embassy measures air quality based on the United States’ EPA standard, which measures airborne particles such as soot, dust and liquid droplets with diameters smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM 2.5). China measures air quality based a less rigorous scale of particles less than 10 micrometers (PM 10). Particles with PM 2.5 pose greater health risks than those with PM 10, since they are not as easily expelled via coughing.

The embassy has been conducting its own measurements as a resource for the health of its staff, according to embassy spokesperson Susan Stevenson, interviewed by Time. The data is shared on the embassy’s Twitter feed, BeijingAir.

Another possible factor behind the discrepancy is the location of monitoring systems. Steven Andrews, an American environmental consultant, has suggested that Beijing officials have moved monitoring stations to less polluted areas so they would reap better data. Du Shaozhong, deputy head of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, denies such allegations, though he did not elaborate on possible reasons for the inconsistent figures.

Since the Olympics, Beijing’s pollution levels have been under scrutiny. To reach the basic air quality required for the Olympics, Beijing closed its surrounding factories, limited traffic, and stopped construction projects.

The report Beijing 2008 Olympic Games – Final Environmental Assessment released during the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council meeting on February 18, noted that “there remains significant room to improve Beijing’s air quality.”

The Epochtimes

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More than 2,600 ill in China tap water contamination

Posted by Author on July 29, 2009

AFP, July 29, 2009 –

BEIJING — More than 2,600 people have fallen ill in a city in north China’s Inner Mongolia region after the tap water supply was contaminated during heavy rainfall, state media reported Wednesday.

A total of 2,622 people have sought medication for gastrointestinal illness and as of Tuesday night, 59 were hospitalised, the Xinhua news agency said, citing an unnamed spokesman with the Chifeng city health department.

Patients suffered from fever, diarrhoea, stomach ache and vomiting after drinking tap water at home, the report said.

The government has blamed heavy rainfall on Saturday for the pollution, it said.

The downpour caused water from a lake to spill over into a well that provides drinking water for a population of 58,000 in one city district, it added.

Around 30 years of unbridled economic growth have left most of China’s lakes and rivers heavily polluted while the nation’s urban dwellers also face some of the world’s worst air pollution.

More than 200 million Chinese currently do not have access to safe drinking water, according to government data.


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(Video) Dead Pigs Floating in River Ignored in South China

Posted by Author on May 1, 2009

NTDTV, Via Youtube, May 1, 2009-

While the whole world is in a panic over the threat of swine flu, hundreds of dead pigs are floating in a town river in Fujian Province, China. The stench, along with the possibility of a swine flu epidemic, is unnerving nearby residents. But local authorities are taking no action.

Many large and small sacks containing dead pigs are floating among the lotus plants and have blocked a river at the junction of Shouqi, Huangdun and Xingqiao Villages in Fuqing City, Fujian Province. Residents say some of the stinking sacks have sunk to the river bottom. According to residents, local authorities are ignoring the pigs. “Who cares, there are more over on that side. Over on that side of the bridge if you go and see, there are around 100 more sacks than what you see here.” The female resident has seen a car carrying sacks of both small and large pigs. The sacks were thrown directly from the bridge into the river. Residents of Shouqi Village say the dead pigs have been piling up for half a month. Residents say that even a local TV news report on the pigs did not alert local authorities.

– NTDTV via Youtube

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Disabilities in China’s polluted Shanxi Province

Posted by Author on April 25, 2009

By James Reynolds, BBC News, Shanxi, central China, Apr. 23, 2009-

For the Li family, the best part of the day comes at noon.

Every day, after school, Li San San picks up his children from school, jams them all onto the back of his motorbike and drives them through the hills back home.

The kids cling onto each other and laugh as they try not to fall off.

On the main roads nearby, lines of coal trucks head off to the rest of China. The valleys are full of steelworks and heavy industry.

The Li family get back to their home, which is carved into the side of a hill.

Six-year-old Hong Wei eats his noodles and sits quietly in front of his school notebook.

He has a shy smile and hides in his sister’s lap when we try to talk to him.

Hong Wei was born with an extra thumb on his right hand. His elder sister Lixia, who’s 14, was born with a twisted left foot and walks with a heavy limp.

Like many people in Shanxi, this family is too poor to go to the doctors. The parents don’t know why their children were born with defects. They’re simply left to guess.

“The air isn’t good around here,” says Li San San. “When it’s bad, it’s difficult to breathe, it looks gloomy and smoggy out there.”

The province of Shanxi is one of the most polluted places in the world.

The rate of birth defects in this region is six times higher than the national average.

In January, the director of family planning in Shanxi, An Huanxiao, told the China Daily newspaper that the province’s high rate of birth defects was related to environmental pollution. …… (more details from BBC News)

Posted in air, Central China, China, Environment, Family, Health, Life, News, People, pollution, Rural, Shanxi, World | Comments Off on Disabilities in China’s polluted Shanxi Province

China struggles with drought

Posted by Author on February 6, 2009

AFP, China, Feb. 06, 2009 –

BEIJING (AFP) — China was struggling Friday to get water to millions of people and save swathes of its wheat harvest, after raising its drought emergency to the highest level for the first time.

The decision to go to emergency level one was taken Thursday at a meeting of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, Xinhua news agency reported.

The increased alert level was made official at the same time as the central government sent out specialists to all eight major drought-hit regions to help residents with relief supplies and technical aid, the China Daily said.

About 4.3 million people and 2.1 million head of livestock are short of water, the relief headquarters said in a statement, as parts of the nation experience their worst drought since the early 1950s.

Eight provinces and municipalities are affected, stretching in a broad belt from Gansu province on the Mongolian border in the northwest to Shandong province on the Yellow Sea in the east.

About 43 percent of the country’s winter wheat supplies are at risk, as some areas have seen no rain for 100 days or more, according to state media…… (more from AFP)

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