Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

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    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
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    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    4.
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    5.
    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 ‘pollution’ Category

Polluted China Rivers Unfit To Touch, Threaten 1/6 of Population

Posted by Author on August 27, 2007


Reuters, Aug 27, 2007-

BEIJING (Reuters) – Polluters along two of China’s main rivers have defied a decade-old clean-up effort, leaving much of the water unfit to touch, let alone drink, and a risk to a sixth of the population, state media said on Monday.

Half the check points along the Huai River and its tributaries in central and eastern China showed pollution of “Grade 5” or worse — the top of the dial in key toxins, meaning that the water was unfit for human contact and may not be fit even for irrigation, national legislators were told.

Years of crackdowns and waste treatment investment have reined in some of the worst damage to the Huai and Liao Rivers, but industrial pollution remained far too high, Mao Rubai, chairman of the National People’s Congress environment and resources protection committee, said in a report delivered on Sunday.

The rivers posed a “threat to the water safety of one sixth of the country’s 1.3 billion population,” the China Daily said.

The pollution on the Huai threatened the massive South-North Water Transfer Project to draw water from the Yangtze River through the Huai basin to the country’s parched north, Mao said.

“Large volumes of untreated domestic effluent and industrial waste-water are dumped directly into the river,” Mao said of one of the Huai’s worst polluted tributaries, according to the NPC Web site (www.npc.gov.cn).

“To judge from the inspection, the quality of water used for the South-North Water Transfer Project is threatened by pollution, and this must attract our vigilance.”

In Zhoukou city in central Henan province, 15 of 23 factories inspected were found to be illegally dumping waste, Mao said……. ( more details from Reuters’ report: Polluted China rivers threaten “sixth” of population)

Posted in Central China, East China, Environment, Health, Henan, Huai River, Liao Rivers, Life, medical, News, pollution, River, Social, water, World | 1 Comment »

UK Playwright Tinch Minter: No Stamp of Approval

Posted by Author on August 22, 2007


Ms. Tinch Minter, UK playwright, Via the Epochtimes, Aug 18, 2007-Ms. Tinch Minter

This is a statement from Ms. Tinch Minter, UK playwright, of supporting the Human Rights Torch Relay and boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Business is booming in China. It is now throwing open its doors to the world after long years of closure. The international community is just as eager to include China in the family of nations, to offer encouragement through business deals, and opportunities to sell us its shoes, clothes, computers, televisions in greater and greater numbers.

While China may show the rest of the world a new more open face, its body remains a Communist dictatorship whose main objective is to keep itself in power whatever this means to its people. We are shown evidence of this new wealth in its vast skyscrapers and sprawling new towns. But factories in all too many cities create a perpetual smog and attendant health problems. How can a state which does not have the health of its own people at heart be a safe player on the world stage?

As more openings are made with the West, increasing numbers of Chinese citizens are making contact with Western ideas. How will they deal with freedom of speech, of thought? Some Chinese students arriving in England recently showed how totally the government line is still stamped on its citizens’ minds as they reiterated the national double-think: on the one hand they claimed the Tiananmen Square event never happened, on the other hand that if anybody was killed there they deserved it.

Make no mistake, China is not in safe hands. With over 600 coal fired power stations underway, China is threatening the future of the rest of the world in its race for super-powerdom. This is the country which upholds stability at any cost – and therefore ruthlessly stamps out anything it perceives as struggle. It has consistently moulded the truth to fit its ideology and is bitterly determined to hold onto the power grabbed through violence. China has tightened the screws on freedom of thought, ignoring appeals for human rights as the State perpetrates violence against its own people, torturing and even executing those it deems dissident.

The 6-10 Office is a massive nationwide organisation, using vast amounts of GNP, with branches in every village, city, school, government agency and so on, and with one sole purpose: to intimidate, crush, torture even kill all those who practise the meditation and exercise routine of Falun Gong and live their lives guided by truth, compassion and forbearance. To those of us brought up in countries which inherited democratic ideas and Judaeo-Christian ethics, truth, compassion and tolerance could be considered as essential planks underpinning civilised human society. Just as they underpin the spirit of the Olympic Games with their desire to promote international understanding through sporting competition.

And so we may ask: How can a meditation and exercise routine, combined with a commitment to three benign principles, threaten any government? How do Falun Gong practitioners deserve political persecution? A state committed to atheism does not have to punish those who follow other ideas. But in China, choosing truth, compassion and tolerance as guides to life is tantamount to dissent, and dissent against the CCP is being against China; and being against China, in the Leaders’ mindset, deserves any punishment they choose. For of course these principles run counter to everything the Chinese Communist Party stands for. A Party which gains power through violence and struggle, then sets about systematically destroying any inconvenient events of its past is bound to be uncomfortable with citizens living by those three high moral principles.

For China this new wealth comes in handy for restocking vast arsenals of torture equipment, and building ever more labour camps. 6-10 Officers are set quotas of political dissidents to brainwash week by week, with a range of torture equipment to use. A quick jab with an electronic prod – sold for use on cattle – sends powerful shock waves through its victim. There is an endless flow of detainees to whip, shackle and prod. And there are even more humiliating options: to dispense with all equipment and force your charges to squat all day long with their hands clasped behind their backs, staring motionless at the floor and bawling Communist gibberish: this torture induces a loss of proprioception, even making standing impossible. This is 6-10 Office reeducation through physical pain as detainees shout themselves back into conformity through the demoralising reiteration of senseless slogans.

6-10 officers may blithely torture their charges to death knowing there will be no reprisal and that all fatalities will be recorded as suicide. There is no due process of law for practitioners, the proper legal procedures are simply by-passed. Once you are arrested you are immediately on the conveyor belt of detention centre, labour camp, brainwashing, torture.

We happily buy the New Life and New World products flooding the West. But these products are all made by slave labour of people illegally detained. And they range from hand-knitted sweaters to single use chopsticks. Yes, the cynicism of the names takes some beating, for the New Life and New World producers face nothing new except further torture until they denounce Falun Gong. It is said that 6-10 Officers deprive political prisoners of sleep until their product passes the most stringent quality control.

In Nazi Germany Dr Mengele and his gang tortured many thousands for the longterm purpose of purifying and perfecting Aryan stock. But China has refined even his torture methods, in a gross and original manner. In years to come the world will be truly horrified by what is known now to a few. In China today the State rewards its wealthy, politically correct members with longer, healthier lives by stealing organs from Falun Gong detainees. A cruel harvest indeed.

The 6-10 Office is acting as nurse, surgeon and organ salesman providing those who have succeeded in the present regime with new lungs, kidneys and hearts, meanwhile labeling Falun Gong as an evil cult. This smokescreen serves to make people fearful, after 24 hour television programmes denouncing practitioners have outlawed Falun Gong in the public mind. So the government has demonised one group, and given itself a free hand to blame all of society’s ills on that group.

Where have we heard that before? And is there not a further similarity with Nazi Germany when Hitler used the 1936 Olympic Games as a world platform to promote his ideology? Are we not in danger of celebrating the Olympic Games next year with just as vicious a host country?

But there is hope: one unexpected response to this repression, is that millions of people have become emboldened into leaving the Chinese Communist Party over the last few years. But why do people agree to join it in the first place? If you are faced with pressure from work mates to join the Party you would be forced into a most uncomfortable position. To refuse would make your future very dim and leave you open to suspicion.

For one of the questions on the application form reveals the government’s profound paranoia; are you or any member of your family Falun Gong practitioners. The same goes for passport applications. If you are a practitioner your commitment to truth forces you to answer honestly. Who would wish to condemn family members to detention without trial? To answer yes condemns your own family members to almost immediate detention; to answer no, submits the whole family to an anguished wait for the inevitable.

We must support the Chinese people in their struggle to change their government – by telling them the truth about the Party, about their Leaders, and their history of bloodshed, persecution and torture. Do not be fooled by the apparent openness, do not be seduced by the new prosperity. Every citizen remains a potential dissident under the present regime – which exists to show who is boss and to show that this boss will tolerate no thought processes but its own.

It is urgent that we redouble our efforts to make both China and the rest of the world a safer place, to release the 1.4 billion Chinese from their murderous Leaders and prevent the Olympic Games being smeared with the ordure of contact.

How can we trade with a country which has an annual execution toll of about 10,000 petty criminals? How can we visit, compete and celebrate together in a country where a terror regime of torture continues? How can any visitor be comfortable in a host country which does not uphold the basic tenets of human rights? How can democratic countries stamp their approval on China by sending their athletes to compete in the Olympic Games?

Tinch Minter

Original report from The Epochtimes, both English and the Chinese translation

Posted in 610 office, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, China, Communist Party, Crime against humanity, Economy, Environment, Europe, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Human Rights, Human Rights Torch Relay, Labor camp, Law, News, People, Politics, pollution, Religion, Report, Social, Speech, Sports, Torture, UK, World, writer | Comments Off on UK Playwright Tinch Minter: No Stamp of Approval

Beijing’s Pollution Rises in 4-Day Test Of Restricted Driving

Posted by Author on August 21, 2007


By Maureen Fan, Washington Post Foreign Service, Tuesday, August 21, 2007-

BEIJING, Aug. 20 — Despite a move by authorities to slash the number of motorists in Beijing by more than a million during a pre-Olympics pollution test, the city’s skies remained a hazy white Monday evening and pollution levels showed a slight increase over the four-day trial period, Beijing’s Environmental Protection Bureau said.

A top Chinese environmental official attributed the increase to humid weather and said pollution levels had been higher just before the test began.

Pollution remains a challenge for organizers of next summer’s Olympic Games. Authorities fear Beijing’s smoggy skies could threaten athletes’ health and have said events might be postponed as a result. The problem reflects the difficulties China faces as it struggles to meet environmental goals without curbing economic growth…… ( more details from Washington Post’s report)

Posted in air, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, Economy, Environment, Event, Health, Life, News, pollution, Sports, transport, World | 1 Comment »

WHO Warns On Beijing Air Pollution- Think twice before travelling to the 2008 China Olympics

Posted by Author on August 18, 2007


BBC News, 17 August 2007-

Some spectators attending the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing face serious health problems due to air pollution, a leading health expert has warned.

Dr Michal Krzyzanowski of the World Health Organisation told the BBC that those with a history of cardiovascular problems should take particular care.

He also said the city’s poor air quality could trigger asthma attacks.

The warning came as Beijing began a four-day test scheme to take 1.3m vehicles off the city’s roads.

During the test period, cars with registration plates ending in odd and even numbers will each be banned from the roads for two day.

Any driver caught contravening the restrictions will be fined 100 yuan ($13, £6.50) by 6,500 police officers.

If the strategy works, it will be used next August to reduce air pollution and traffic during the Olympics.

Officials expect the ban to cut vehicle emissions by 40%, although correspondents said thick smog continued to hang over the city on Friday.

Beijing’s residents, who are being told to take public transport rather than their cars during the test period, appear to be supporting the pilot project.

‘Highly polluted’

But despite the plans to cut emissions, Dr Krzyzanowski said the WHO still feared for the welfare of those planning to attend the games next year.

“All of the cities are pretty highly polluted by European standards, but even by the standards of Asia, Chinese cities are pretty highly polluted,” he told BBC Sport.

“The main problem in Chinese cities is air pollution, small particles which are suspended in the air and penetrate deep into the lungs,” he added.

“More importantly they penetrate other systems, like the cardio-vascular system and travel in the blood through the body.”

Dr Krzyzanowski said people who were not in perfect health ought to think twice before travelling to the games, given the additional stress generated by the excitement of a sporting event, the heat and the poor quality air.

“For them, exposure to high pollution levels may be a trigger to serious problems if they already have, for instance, cardio-vascular disease,” he said.

“Those who come with asthma may suffer attacks – they usually know how to respond to it, but I would be concerned for those who have some cardiac condition,” he added.

“This might be more serious as it requires a much more specialised medical response.”

Traffic doubts

International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge warned last week that events could be postponed if conditions were unhealthy, while some countries say their competitors will arrive in Beijing as late as possible to avoid exposure to pollution.

The air pollution expert also cast doubt on the effectiveness of the Beijing Organising Committee’s experimental traffic ban, saying reducing pollution required long term planning rather than short term fixes.

“I’d be amazed if substantial progress is made in the next 12 months,” he said, pointing out that Beijing’s problems are not just created locally.

“Particles have the ability of travelling thousands of kilometres in the air, so it’s possible the beneficial effect of cutting the traffic in the city will be compensated by the transport of pollution from other parts of China.”

Beijing, home to about 16 million people, has just over 3 million registered vehicles, mostly comprising private cars, buses, taxis and government vehicles.

– Original report from BBC News: WHO fears over Beijing pollution

Posted in air, Asia, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, Cars, China, Environment, Event, Health, Life, News, pollution, Sports, transport, travel, World | 2 Comments »

Beijing Sidelines a Million Cars for Testing Olympic Air Pollution And Traffic Flow

Posted by Author on August 17, 2007


By Daniel Schearf, VOA News, Beijing, 17 August 2007-

Beijing is pulling more than a million cars from the streets to test the effect on air quality and traffic flow. The four-day experiment is part of a search for ways to improve the Chinese capital’s notorious air pollution and horrific traffic jams during next year’s Olympic games. Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing.

For four days, most vehicles in Beijing will only be allowed to take to the road on alternate days – odd-numbered license plates one day, even numbers the next.

China’s official Xinhua news agency says the temporary measure is expected to remove more than a third of Beijing’s three million-plus vehicles from city streets.

If the test leads to significant improvements in air quality and traffic flow, Beijing may use a similar method during the Olympic games next year, when 2.5 million visitors are expected to put added strains on the city’s already clogged transportation systems.

Wen Bo is based in Beijing-based for Pacific Environment, a San-Francisco environmental group. He says limiting cars might affect traffic, but is not likely to have a big impact on Beijing’s air quality. He says the city is surrounded by too much polluting industry for temporary measures to make much of a difference.

“Lots of factories have been relocated out of Beijing but they are still surrounding the city. So, they have to deal with the entire region. It’s not just one city,” he said. “You cannot just have a pocket of clean air and a sea of polluted air all around it. By reducing car numbers on the street, you’re only dealing with one section of the problem.”

Olympic teams are worried that the heavy air pollution may affect their athletes’ health during the games.

The International Olympic Committee president said some endurance events might have to be postponed if Beijing’s air quality is too poor……. ( more details from VOA News : Beijing Sidelines a Million Cars for Olympic Air-Quality Test)

Posted in air, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, Cars, China, Environment, Health, Life, News, pollution, Social, Sports, transport, World | Comments Off on Beijing Sidelines a Million Cars for Testing Olympic Air Pollution And Traffic Flow

Edward McMillan-Scott: We Should Shun Beijing Olympics in the Land of Genocide

Posted by Author on August 17, 2007


By Edward McMillan-Scott, via Yorkshire Post, UK, 13 August 2007-Edward McMillan-Scott

Edward McMillan-Scott (photo right) is a Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, a vice-president of the European Parliament and founded the EU’s Democracy and Human Rights Initiative.

The year-long countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympics was celebrated by the Chinese regime with a firework display in Tiananmen Square – the focus of the June 1989 massacre of thousands of human rights activists. Massed dancers performed under the bland portrait of Mao Tse-tung, who murdered without qualms more than 70 million of his own people, 38 million through starvation.

Outside China, numerous reports were produced by human rights organisations such as Amnesty International. Reporters without Borders said “despite the explicit undertakings it gave to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2001, the Chinese government has done nothing to improve free expression or human rights in general…. Every year several thousand Chinese are executed in public, often in stadiums, by means of a bullet in the back of the neck or lethal injection”.

As I said following my visit to Beijing last year, when I met former prisoners of conscience, one of whom had shared a cell in one of China’s vast detention camps with Tiananmen activists, “the civilised world must shun China”.

Simon Clegg, chief executive of the British Olympic Association, has said he would not succumb to pressure from human rights groups or politicians over participation in what promises to be the most controversial Games since the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

However, this view that sport and politics don’t mix defies the Olympic Charter itself. Article 1 says it “seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles”, surely the most universal of which is the UN Human Rights Charter.

It was the IOC itself which decided to exclude South Africa from the Games in 1964 as part of a world-wide campaign against apartheid. So I make no apology for urging our Prime Minister to begin a debate across the EU about a possible boycott of the Beijing Games. The EU’s foreign policy claims to be the promotion of human rights and democracy.

Gordon Brown, with the help of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and with all-party support at home, has shown a new foreign policy activism by making the genocide in Darfur his first priority. It is Chinese support for the murderous Sudanese government which has led Mia Farrow to call the Beijing Games the “Genocide Olympics”.

But there is still genocide inside China. Hundreds of thousands are in “administrative detention”. The world’s biggest country is becoming explosive, with tensions arising from huge distortions in wealth leading to corruption, a collapsing environment and universal repression of any dissent. A leaked official report said that some 90,000 impromptu demonstrations in rural areas took place within a recent 12-month period. These were primarily against expropriation of land and corrupt officialdom.

China’s economic boom is causing massive environmental degradation. The air in Beijing is appalling. Even Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, acknowledged that Beijing’s air pollution could force outdoor events to be abandoned.

The crackdown on religions is a brutal mistake from the regime’s standpoint, as it will lead, in my view, to its collapse. In any event, it is of fundamental importance in the coming period. Recently, Beijing has modified its policy by promoting a “patriotic” or authorised Buddhism.

This is possibly in recognition of the role of religions in bringing down the Soviet Union – Catholics in Poland and Protestants elsewhere across Eastern Europe who had simply had enough. Faith cannot be killed.

The Vatican has until now accepted the appointment of its senior clerics by the Communist Party of China but is becoming restive; several million Catholics secretly appoint their own bishops. Underground Anglican churches, too, abound. Muslims have been shot for “separatism” and those with passports have had them removed this year, to prevent them from making the Haj.

Patient and proud, Tibetans have suffered humiliation since Chinese troops occupied their lovely country in 1951. Beijing rules with a heavy hand, enforcing strict controls on religious activity. It routinely vilifies the 71-year-old Dalai Lama, and imprisoned his chosen successor, the “soul boy”. Beijing has recently sacked hundreds of Tibetan officials and replaced them with Han loyalists.

The Falun Gong movement, a spiritual Buddhist group, has had the worst treatment after it grew in only seven years of existence to 100 million adherents. Over 3,000 Falun Gong have been tortured to death since 1999 by a regime which demands that they recant.

Survivors have told me that they are the only prisoners who get a health check. Why? One had seen his friend’s cadaver in the prison hospital with holes where body parts had been removed. China’s booming organ transplant industry – run by the People’s Liberation Army – is harvesting Falun Gong prisoners’ vital organs to order. They sell at a premium as practitioners neither drink nor smoke.

The Genocide Convention refers to any acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”. Tragically, China today abounds in examples of continuing internal genocide. Let us give the regime until Christmas to put the past aside, or we must apply the Olympic spirit and shun their Games.

– Original report from YorkshirePost.co.uk : Edward McMillan-Scott: We should shun these Olympics in a land of genocide

Posted in Africa, all Hot Topic, Asia, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Catholicism, China, Darfur, Edward McMillan-Scott, Environment, Europe, Event, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Freedom of Speech, Genocide, Human Rights, Journalist, Labor camp, Law, News, Organ harvesting, People, Politics, pollution, Religion, Religious, Report, Social, Speech, Sports, Tiananmen, Tibetan, UK, World | 6 Comments »

China: Thousands of Farmers Besieged Brewery To Protest Against Pollution

Posted by Author on July 30, 2007


By Chris Buckley, Reuters, Jul 29, 2007-

BEIJING, July 29 (Reuters) – Chinese farmers besieged a brewery to protest against pollution and being left out in the economic cold — common complaints in the China’s restive countryside — local people said on Sunday.

Villagers in the southwest province Sichuan blocked the gate of the brewery and a nearby road close to Shifang city on Thursday and Friday demanding that officials and executives resolve their grievances, locals told Reuters by phone.

“There’s been a lot of trouble,” said one villager who gave her family name as Huang. “They weren’t listening and so we blocked the road.”

The villagers’ complaints could not be verified and the brewery was not taking calls on Sunday.

But the protest was another sign that anger about environmental damage and economic inequality continue to fuel unrest while the ruling Communist Party promises a fairer “harmonious society”.

The Kong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, which often reports on unrest, said in a fax that hundreds of riot police dispersed the protest involving up to 5,000 people, with seven arrested and 20 injured.

Villagers told Reuters that protesters and onlookers reached one or two thousand in number despite heavy rain.

“It’s basically quelled now,” an official at the nearby Yuanshi town government told Reuters. He said several protestors had been detained and already released.

“It was mainly over water pollution. Five villages were polluted,” he said. He would not give his name.

Villagers said run-off from the brewery had damaged crops and tainted underground water that supplies wells.

They said there was also anger among farmers and employees about the recent sale of the brewery, which they claim a stake in. “They didn’t share the money with the farmers. It’s unfair,” said Huang. (… more details from Reuters report)

Posted in China, Economy, Environment, Health, Incident, Law, News, People, pollution, Protest, Riot, Rural, Sichuan, Social, SW China, water | Comments Off on China: Thousands of Farmers Besieged Brewery To Protest Against Pollution

Expert Says Chinese Companies Keep Polluting Amur River in Russia

Posted by Author on July 28, 2007


Prime-Tass, Russia, July 27, 2007-

KHABAROVSK, July 27 (Prime-Tass) — Chinese companies continue to pollute the Amur River (Called as Heilongjiang River, in northeast China), which is located on the Russian-Chinese border, Alexei Makhinov, deputy director of Russia’s Institute for Aquatic and Environmental Problems, said Friday, ITAR-TASS reported.

The content of volatile phenols in the Amur River is 10% to 20% higher than the maximum allowable concentration, ITAR-TASS reported, citing a spokesman for the environmental protection department of the Khabarovsk Region’s Natural Resources Ministry.

Meanwhile, the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring’s branch in Russia’s Far East has said that it found high levels of arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead, zinc and copper in the Amur River and the nearby Ussuri River, as cited by ITAR-TASS.

Additionally, the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare has attributed a current meningitis epidemic in the area to high virus content in the Amur River, ITAR-TASS reported.

original report from Prime-Tass

Posted in Asia, China, Economy, Environment, Health, Heilongjiang, Law, Life, medical, NE China, News, pollution, River, Social, water, World | Comments Off on Expert Says Chinese Companies Keep Polluting Amur River in Russia

Second Pollution Report in July Stoped by China

Posted by Author on July 25, 2007


Reuters, Mon Jul 23, 2007-

BEIJING, July 23 (Reuters) – China has stopped the public release of an official study putting a cost to the nation’s environmental damage, a government researcher told a Chinese newspaper, blaming official reluctance to confront pollution.

The Beijing News reported on Monday that the release of a “green GDP” report computing the cost of pollution and ecological degradation in 2005 had been “indefinitely postponed”.

Wang Jinnan, a senior expert at the Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning who was technical head of the project, said publicly spelling out the cost of bad air, water and soil had drawn fierce opposition from local officials eager to maintain growth.

“Taking out the costs of environmental damage would lead to a huge fall in the quality of economic growth in some areas,” Wang told the paper.

“At present many areas still place GDP above all else, and when such thinking dominates, the size of resistance to a green GDP can well be imagined.”

Wang said some provincial governments had lobbied the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) and the National Bureau of Statistics not to publicly release the latest data.

A previous report for 2004 had calculated that environmental degradation that year cost 511.8 billion yuan ($67.7 billion) or 3.05 percent of gross domestic product — a figure one SEPA official said at the time was “shocking”.

That earlier report was issued in September last year with official fanfare and wide domestic media attention.

The report for 2005 shows “losses from pollution and reduction in the GDP indicator even higher than the 2004 report”, the paper said, citing a weekend seminar on the study.

The report would also have computed economic losses from pollution for each province — a sensitive step in a system where maintaining economic growth can be crucial to officials’ promotion prospects.

The unusual revelation of official feuding is the latest sign that China’s struggle to balance economic growth with environmental concerns has become a volatile political issue.

The Financial Times said this month China had asked the World Bank not to publish estimates of the number of premature Chinese deaths each year from polluted air and water.

The bank study said about 460,000 Chinese died prematurely each year from water and air pollution and about 300,000 more died from indoor toxins.

Wang said that in the bureaucratic fight over environmental data, SEPA and the statistics agency had “major differences” over what the report should say and how it should be distributed.

Without the support of the statistics agency it would be impossible to continue research seeking to calculate the costs of environmental harm, Wang said.

– Original report from Reuters: China silences green GDP study, report says

Posted in air, Asia, censorship, China, Economy, Environment, Freedom of Information, Health, Human Rights, Life, News, Politics, pollution, Report, Social, Soil, water, World | Comments Off on Second Pollution Report in July Stoped by China

Answering China

Posted by Author on July 21, 2007


By Peter Morici, Professor, via FinFacts Ireland, Ireland, Jul 20, 2007-

Peter Morici is an economist and professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. He is a recognized expert on international economics, industrial policy and macroeconomics. Prior to joining the university, he served as director of the Office of Economics at the US International Trade Commission.

The rash of dangerous Chinese imports, ranging from defective tires to tainted toothpaste, makes apparent the perils in U.S. and EU policies toward China.

Since President Nixon, the United States has sought constructive engagement to encourage economic and political reform. By opening commerce, the United States seeks to expose Chinese citizens to democratic values, instigate systemic change, and eventually add another responsible, prosperous state to the community of western nations.

The United States is betting that opening American markets to China’s products, through membership in the World Trade Organization, will lift millions from poverty and create a government that respects human rights. The Communist Party is betting it can manipulate WTO rules to its unique advantage, accomplish export-led growth, and deliver prosperity that allows it to hold on to power indefinitely.

China’s economic miracle is giving capitalism a bad name. By offering manufacturers export subsidies through a 40 percent undervalued currency, cheap bank loans, generous tax rebates, lax product-safety and environmental enforcement, and technology extorted from western multinationals seeking Beijing’s permission to sell products in China, China is flooding U.S. and EU markets with artificially cheap, and too often dangerous, products.

Aside from wholly corrupting the notion of free trade based on comparative advantage, these policies have created a profits-at-any-cost culture.

Chinese factories exploit workers, purposely endanger consumers, transform lakes and rivers into noxious reservoirs of industrial waste, and create the filthiest air on the planet. Lacking the accountability imposed by open elections and a free press, Beijing ignores these abuses until U.S. public outrage occasionally puts an export markets at risk. Even worse, provincial governments encourage this degradation.

China has tough national environmental laws, but Communist Party officials in Beijing and the provinces are rewarded for meeting growth targets, not enforcing abatement standards, and the resulting corruption offers them great opportunities to amass personal wealth.

To limit dissent, Beijing censors the internet, with the cooperation of principled western companies like Google. It jails political activists and members of “subversive religions,” such as Falun Gong. Prison and military hospitals harvest organs for the lucrative transplant market. The atrocities Beijing encourages are endless and beyond shame.

China, with the third largest GDP among nations, holds $1.2 trillion in hard currency and securities. Yet, Beijing says it is too poor to provide clean drinking water, sewers and decent housing for its rural population. The income gap between rural areas and large coastal export centers grows each day, as sure as the pollution and poisons spewed from its factories multiplies.

All we get from Beijing are vague promises, vacant of transformative actions. Meanwhile, leaders in Washington counsel diplomacy instead of concrete steps, and apologists among U.S. multinationals profiting from the China’s criminal behavior warn against disruptive consequences of curbing the peculiar enterprise called U.S.-China free trade.

China’s behavior is not without its consequences for U.S. and other western economies. Its export juggernaut is closing factories in the United States and EU, and casting into unemployment workers that would be competitive but for China’s mercantilism. For example, technology-intensive autoparts factories, semiconductor plants and software development labs moving to China gain little from cheap labor. The resulting lost productivity in the United States comes to nearly $2000 each year for every employed American, has helped create a $6 trillion foreign debt, and is lowering sustainable U.S. GDP growth from about 4 percent a year to about 3 percent.

By 2008, China will be the world’s largest source of greenhouse gases, and its reckless industrialization strategy is adding the equivalent of one new Japan to the global warming equation every two years. At that pace, the United States and EU, even by adopting the most aggressive emission curtailment programs, could do little to derail global warming.

It is high time for the United States and EU to exclude, on a broad and comprehensive scale, Chinese products that are heavily subsidized, that are made in factories that poison the atmosphere, or that are potentially dangerous to consumers regardless of where they live. Only then can the West hope to instigate positive change in China.

If the Americans and Europeans do not act, eventually China will become too strong to resist, and our shared future will darken.

Civilizations do not collapse under the weight of age. They fail when they become too complacent to act on real threats.

Original report from FinFacts Ireland

Posted in censorship, China, Commentary, Company, Dissident, Economy, Environment, Europe, Food, Health, Human Rights, Internet, Law, Life, Made in China, Opinion, People, Politics, pollution, Report, Social, Technology, USA, World | 1 Comment »

China Arrests Activist Over Chemical Plant Protest

Posted by Author on July 20, 2007


Reuters, 19 Jul 2007-

BEIJING, July 19 (Reuters) – China has arrested at least one activist for organising protests in a southeastern port city last month in which thousands of residents opposed construction of a chemical plant, two friends said on Thursday.

Liaising via cell phone text massages and the Internet, the protesters marched through downtown areas of Xiamen on June 1 and 2 to demand the government scrap plans to build the Taiwan-funded plant to make paraxylene, a compound used in polyester and fabrics.

Citing critics including government experts and advisers, they said the factory, next to a residential area, was a “timebomb” for public health and a grave threat to Xiamen’s seaside environment.

Police detined Li Yiqiang on June 3 and issued an arrest warrant to his family a month later on charges of illegal assembly and organising marches, Zhang Likun, a Beijing-based friend, told Reuters by telephone.

Zhang said other protesters may also been detained.

Li, 39, rose to prominence pressuring the government to assert its claim of sovereignty over a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea. The Japanese-controlled islands are claimed by China as Diaoyu and by Japan as Senkaku.

Li in past years has set sail for the islands on three separate occasions, said Zhang, a fellow Diaoyu activist.

Zhang said police had video footages of Li making speeches during the marches against the chemical plant.

Tong Zeng, another friend and fellow Diaoyu activist, said the charges against Li were unfair and argued that it was a public order offence at most.

“He had neither the intention nor the ability to organise such a huge protest,” Tong told Reuters. “I guess he was just a bit active during the march and his beard made him stand out.”

Both men learned about Li’s arrest through his sister, Li Yan, who could not be reached on Thursday.

Xiamen police declined to comment when reached by telephone.

Pollution alongside breakneck economic and industrial growth has become an increasingly inflammatory issue, galvanising normally apolitical urban residents into collective action.

Stand-offs — in some cases violent — between local governments eager to push big projects for growth and tax revenues and residents who want clean water, air or a quiet environment have been on the rise.

China’s constitution grants citizens the right to stage demonstrations, but police rarely approve protests, which are seen by the stability-obsessed Communist Party as sensitive.

The Xiamen city government has suspended construction of the factory to conduct further impact assessment, but it has also accused “hostile forces with ulterior motives” of masterminding the June marches.

Tong and Zhang insisted that the the protests were spontaneous acts. “When human lives are in danger, what’s the use of high GDP figures?” Zhang asked.

original report from Reuters

Posted in Activist, China, City resident, East China, Environment, Fujian, Health, Law, medical, News, People, Politics, pollution, Protest, SE China, Social, Speech, Xiamen | Comments Off on China Arrests Activist Over Chemical Plant Protest

China’s Deadly Pollution of Air, Water, Land and Health Status

Posted by Author on July 18, 2007


According to an 18-month study released recently by the Organisation for EconomicPolluted river- Songhuajiang Co-operation and Development (OECD)  and previous exposed World Bank report,  here’s some numbers showing the deadly pollution of air, water, land  and the health status in China:

(picture: The polluted Songhua river near to the Chinese city of Harbin. Photograph: China Photos/Getty, from The Guardian website)

1. “highly polluted” water, covering:

– 1/3 the length of all China’s rivers
– 75% of its major lakes
– 25% of all its coastal waters

    Caused health problem:

– 300 million people are drinking contaminated water on a daily basis
– 190 million are suffering from water related illnesses each year
– Nearly 30,000 children die from diarrhoea due to polluted water each year

2.  Air:

– overtake the United States as the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gases

    Caused health problem:

750,000 Chinese die prematurely each year, Beijing forced the World Bank to delete this figures from a similar report.
– Unless pollution is controlled, by 2020 it will cause 600,000 premature deaths in urban areas and 20 million cases of respiratory illness a year

3. waste:

– More than 17,000 towns have no sewage works at all
– human waste from nearly one billion people is barely collected or treated

– Nearly 70% of the rural population has no access to safe sanitation.

4. Land:
– 27% of the landmass of the country is now becoming desertified

5. City:

world’s 20 most polluted cities are in China

Find related reports from The Guardian (UK), Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) and previous post

Posted in air, Asia, China, Climate, Environment, Health, Life, medical, News, pollution, Report, River, Social, waste, water, World | Comments Off on China’s Deadly Pollution of Air, Water, Land and Health Status

China Pollution Scares: Algae Outbreak Make 25,000 People No Water

Posted by Author on July 17, 2007


Reuters, Tue Jul 17, 2007-

BEIJING (Reuters) – An outbreak of blue algae in a Chinese reservoir has left nearly 25,000 people without water and 100,000 others with reduced supplies, state media said on Wednesday of the latest in a series of water pollution scares.

The algae, in the northeastern city of Changchun, was likely caused by farm fertilizers and abnormally hot and dry weather, the official China Daily reported.

The local government had started collecting the algae using nets and boats and was trucking in water to residents in Changchun’s Luyuan district where supplies have been suspended, the newspaper added. Other Changchun residents had had water pressure reduced, the Beijing Youth Daily said, showing pictures of fluorescent green-looking water in the reservoir.

Water supplies to millions of residents have been affected in a series of algae outbreaks across the country in recent months.

On July 4, water supplies to 200,000 people in Shuyang county, Jiangsu province, were halted for more than 40 hours after ammonia and nitrogen were found in a local river, state media reported.

In late May, a major outbreak in China’s third biggest lake cut off water supplies to over 2 million residents of Wuxi city, also in Jiangsu.

Algae blooms develop in water that is rich in nutrients, often because of run-off from heavy fertilizer use, industrial runoff and untreated sewage — all pollutants in ready supply in many parts of China.

– original report from Reuters: New China algae outbreak threatens water supplies

Posted in Changchun, China, Environment, Health, Jilin, Life, NE China, News, pollution, water | 1 Comment »

China: Hundreds of Farmers Blocked Highway to Protest Toxic Gas Leak

Posted by Author on July 13, 2007


Reuters, Fri Jul 13, 2007-

BEIJING (Reuters) – Hundreds of farmers in southwest China protested against a gas leak that damaged crops, a human rights group said on Friday, at a time when the government is seeking to ease public anger over environmental threats.

Farmers near Mount Emei in Sichuan province blocked a highway to protest against an aluminum company they said was responsible for the leak that contaminated grapes and other crops, the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said in a fax.

The Center, which often reports on protests in China, said the spill happened on June 24 and farmers began blocking the highway from July 10 to demand a total of 8 million yuan ($1.1 million) in compensation.

Ten residents were injured on Thursday when policed cleared the road, and five people were detained, the report said.

Villagers and officials could not be contacted to confirm the report. The Center said Emei officials verified the incident but said it was up to environmental authorities to determine whether the gas leak was a threat to people’s health.

Beset by growing public alarm about spoiled land, air and water, China has promised to cut major pollutants by 10 percent between 2006 and 2010. But last year the country failed to meet the annual target. (…… more details from Reuters)

Posted in air, China, Environment, Health, Incident, Law, News, People, pollution, Protest, Rural, Social, SW China | Comments Off on China: Hundreds of Farmers Blocked Highway to Protest Toxic Gas Leak

China moves to ban anonymous online posts and chating

Posted by Author on July 6, 2007


Chatroom users will be required to register with their real names after an internet campaign mobilised 10,000 people to join a protest march

Times Online, July 6, 2007- 

Anonymous online postings are to be banned by a city in China, after residents mounted a successful internet campaign against proposals for a huge chemicals factory.

Internet users will have to provide their real names, backed up by data from their identity cards, when posting messages on more than 100,000 websites registered in Xiamen. Authorities are taking action after thousands of residents of the prosperous southern port city marched through the streets, mobilised by mobile phone text messages and an internet-based campaign.

Protesters used their mobile phones to send text reports, as well as photos and videos, to bloggers and websites in other cities, which posted live reports of the march. The local government has suspended construction of the £700 million chemicals plant, pending an investigation into the potential environmental risk.

Tian Feng, vice-director of the Xiamen Bureau of Industry and Commerce, said that a new law, the Measures for Management and Disposition of Harmful and Unhealthy Information on the Internet, would be announced soon by the city government. “All postings must implement a real-name system. We are the first in the country to do this,” Mr Tian said.

The law obliges anyone who wants to chat online to register using their identity card. Moderators of political noticeboards will be required to use their real names, and anonymous comments will be banned. Messages will be vetted before they are posted.

One government official said that the protest had shown the necessity to control content on the internet. He said: “Those who illegally spread harmful or bad information will be detained or fined.”

Internet censorship is common in China, where the Government employs an elaborate system of filters and tens of thousands of human monitors to survey the surfing habits of its 140 million internet users.

Dozens of outspoken journalists and internet commentators are serving lengthy prison terms after being jailed on charges such as subversion or leaking state secrets. Internet cafés are required to inspect and register the identity cards of all users, but this is not widely enforced, particularly outside the larger cities.

Lian Yue — real name Zhong Xiaoyong — a writer and blogger who posted real-time footage of the march on his website, was swift to comment on the planned crackdown on anonymous postings. He wrote: “The awakening of public power can perform a key influential function in environmental protection. That small step for Xiamen’s citizens should have become a giant leap for the progress of environmental protection in China. Unfortunately, some local Xiamen officials perhaps did not see this as an honour, and subconsciously felt that they had lost face.”

The clampdown seems unlikely to deter those people who dare to criticise the Government online or to voice dissenting opinions, since most are already well known to the police, and their actions are carefully monitored. Those involved in Xiamen were not political dissidents, but ordinary citizens anxious to protect the environment of their pretty seaside town, which has become a winter escape for Beijing’s wealthy, and also the value of their homes.

original report from Times Online

Posted in Asia, Blog, censorship, chat, China, Environment, Human Rights, Incident, Internet, Internet User, Law, News, People, Politics, pollution, Protest, Social, Speech, website | Comments Off on China moves to ban anonymous online posts and chating

Too sensitive to publish: 750,000 a year killed by pollution in China

Posted by Author on July 3, 2007


By Richard McGregor in Beijing, Financial Times, UK, July 2 2007-

Beijing engineered the removal of nearly a third of a World Bank report on pollution in China because of concerns that findings on premature deaths could provoke “social unrest”.

The report, produced in co-operation with Chinese government ministries over several years, found about 750,000 people die prematurely in China each year, mainly from air pollution in large cities.

China’s State Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) and health ministry asked the World Bank to cut the calculations of premature deaths from the report when a draft was finished last year, according to Bank advisers and Chinese officials.

Advisers to the research team said ministries told them this information, including a detailed map showing which parts of the country suffered the most deaths, was too sensitive.

“The World Bank was told that it could not publish this information. It was too sensitive and could cause social unrest,” one adviser to the study told the Financial Times.

Sixteen of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in China, according to previous World Bank research.

Guo Xiaomin, a retired Sepa official who co-ordinated the Chinese research team, said some material was omitted from the pollution report because of concerns that the methodology was unreliable. But he also said such information on premature deaths “could cause misunderstanding”.

“We did not announce these figures. We did not want to make this report too thick,” he said in an interview.

The pared-down report, “Cost of Pollution in China”, has yet to be officially launched but a version, which can be downloaded from the internet was released at a conference in Beijing in March.

Missing from this report are the research project’s findings that high air-pollution levels in Chinese cities is leading to the premature deaths of 350,000-400,000 people each year. A further 300,000 people die prematurely each year from exposure to poor air indoors, according to advisers, but little discussion of this issue survived in the report because it was outside the ambit of the Chinese ministries which sponsored the research.

Another 60,000-odd premature deaths were attributable to poor-quality water, largely in the countryside, from severe diarrhoea, and stomach, liver and bladder cancers.

The mortality information was “reluctantly” excised by the World Bank from the published report, according to advisers to the research project.

Sepa and the health ministry declined to comment. The World Bank said that the findings of the report were still being discussed with the government.

A spokesperson said: “The conference version of the report did not include some of the issues still under discussion.” She said the findings of the report were due to be released as a series of papers soon.

– original report from Financial Times: 750,000 a year killed by Chinese pollution

Posted in air, Asia, censorship, China, City resident, Environment, Health, Life, News, People, Politics, pollution, Report, Rural, Social, Speech, water, World | 1 Comment »

61 Hospitalised by Polluted River in China – state media

Posted by Author on June 20, 2007


By : Agencies, Published on abcmoney.co.uk, Wed, 20 Jun 2007-

BEIJING (XFN-ASIA) – More than 60 people had to be treated in hospital for a severe skin reaction after coming into contact with a polluted Chinese river, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The victims, who had collected dead fish or washed their clothes in the Jindong River in eastern Anhui province on Tuesday, felt a burning sensation on their skin a few hours later,

The report, citing the local government, said an oily substance could be seen on the river, but the cause of the pollution was not yet known.

Nine of the victims stayed in hospital overnight, while the others were released after shorter treatment, the report added.

In China more than 70 pct of rivers and lakes are polluted, while underground water supplies in 90 pct of Chinese cities are contaminated, previous state media reports have said.

afp

– original report from  abcmoney.co.uk : Polluted Chinese river hospitalises 61 – state media

Posted in China, East China, Environment, Health, Life, medical, News, People, pollution, River, Rural, water | Comments Off on 61 Hospitalised by Polluted River in China – state media

China Overtakes US As World’s Biggest Air Polluter

Posted by Author on June 19, 2007


AFP, published on Independent Online, South Africa, June 19 2007-

China for the first time spewed out more carbon-dioxide emissions last year than the United States, a Dutch government research body said on Tuesday.

“China’s 2006 carbon dioxide emissions surpassed those of the USA by eight percent,” the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP) said.

In 2005 US emissions were up two percent compared to China. The MNP said the figures were based on its own preliminary estimates derived from recent energy and cement production data.

Industrial processes and the burning of fossil fuels – oil, gas and coal – are the main causes of carbon-dioxide emissions. Of the industrial processes, cement production is one of the principal sources of greenhouse gas, the MNP said. In 2006 China had a 44 percent share in global cement production, it added.

According to the MNP figures, China’s emissions increased by nine percent in 2006 compared to its 2005 output. In the United States emissions rose 1.4 percent from 2005 to 2006. – AFP

– original report from  Independent Online: China beats US at pollution

Posted in air, Asia, China, Climate, Economy, Environment, News, pollution, USA, World | Comments Off on China Overtakes US As World’s Biggest Air Polluter

China’s State Secret Law ‘deadly to society’

Posted by Author on June 12, 2007


By Clifford Coonan in Beijing, The Independent, UK, 12 June 2007-

China is classifying more and more activities as state secrets to allow police to charge dissidents and activists, a report said yesterday. The expansion of secrecy laws has huge implications for freedom of expression in the country, says the campaigning group Human Rights in China (HRIC).

“The complex and opaque state secrets system perpetuates a culture of secrecy that is deadly to Chinese society,” says the report, which details laws, regulations and documents – many in English translation for the first time – to show how many charges now qualify as state secrets.

Speaking from New York before the launch of the 279-page document, State secrets: China’s legal labyrinth, Sharon Hom, executive director of HRIC, said the report would “tunnel down and look at the state secret system and see what is its impact on policy and the practice of the rule of law and governance”.

Under a 1998 law, state secrets are defined as “all other matters classified as state secrets by the national State Secrets Bureau”, a catch-all phrase which can be used against almost anyone the government pleases. The report shows how China’s secrets system is used as both a shield – classifying a broad range of information and keeping it from the public, and a sword – using it as a means to crack down on individuals who are critical of the government.

It also has case studies of people who have been jailed under the pretext of stealing state secrets. Some are well known, such as Zhao Yan, the New York Times researcher who was detained in September 2004 in connection with an article which predicted the resignation of Jiang Zemin as head of the military. He was held in detention for more than 19 months without trial and then charged with leaking state secrets to the newspaper. In August last year, Mr Zhao was unexpectedly cleared of the state secrets charge and sentenced to three years in prison on an unrelated charge of fraud.

The reporter Shi Tao attended a meeting in April 2004 at which the contents of a Communist Party propaganda bureau document were read out. Using email, he sent notes to a New York-based website, for which he was detained and tried for “illegally providing state secrets overseas”. As the document was certified “top secret”, he was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.

There are also lesser known cases, such as Tan Kai, a computer repair technician from Zhejiang, who was formally indicted on 29 April 2006 on charges of “illegally obtaining state secrets,” ostensibly for information he had obtained while doing routine file back-ups for an employee of the Zhejiang provincial party committee. Mr Tan is also an environmental activist who founded a group called Green Watch, which was declared illegal in November 2005. Mr Tan was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment by the Hangzhou municipal people’s intermediate court on the state secrets charge.

“In these cases, the state secrets charge opened the door,” said Ms Hom. “The scope and comprehensiveness and retroactivity of this system is not really known. Environment issues, natural disasters, population statistics, health hazards – all of these can be swept in and retrospectively classified as state secrets.”

China’s secrets system violates the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Beijing has signed but not ratified, said Ms Hom. She added: “China says it wants to be a respected international player. There is a need to move from a culture of secrecy to a culture of tolerance, which means they have to allow dissenting voices.”

How the wall of silence works

* Officials dealing with the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) at first refused to provide information or confirm reports, pointing to rules classifying infectious diseases as state secrets.

* Ambiguities in secrecy rules led to delays and confusion after a chemical leak in the Songhua river in 2005 which forced taps to be shut off in a city of nine million people.

* Lu Jianhua, a sociologist, was reportedly jailed for 20 years for leaking state secrets to a Hong Kong reporter who was sentenced to five years for spying. The trial was held in secret.

* Tohti Tunyaz, an academic, was sentenced to 11 years for spying. Supporters say the secrets he was accused of stealing were 50-year-old documents.

* Shi Tao, a journalist, was jailed for 10 years after emailing a propaganda circular to a US human rights forum.

– original report from The Independent: China’s culture of secrecy ‘deadly to society’

Posted in Activist, censorship, China, Health, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, pollution, SARS, Social, Speech | Comments Off on China’s State Secret Law ‘deadly to society’

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

Related:
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

South China City Hit By Biggest Ever Toxic “Red Tide”

Posted by Author on June 8, 2007


Reuters, 07 Jun 2007-

BEIJING, June 7 (Reuters) – Coastal waters off China’s booming southern port of Shenzhen have been hit by the biggest ever marine algal bloom, state media reported on Thursday.

The report comes days after green algae in China’s third largest lake cut off water supplies to millions of residents in Wuxi, in eastern Jiangsu province.

Commonly known as “red tide”, toxic algal blooms can devastate marine plant and animal life and are exacerbated by coastal run-off from fertilisers and untreated human waste.

“This is the biggest red tide that has ever appeared off the city’s coast,” the China Daily quoted Zhou Kai, an expert with the local marine environment monitoring station, as saying.

Zhou said the 50-sq-km (19-sq-mile) slick off the west coast of Shenzhen, a major industrial centre bordering Hong Kong in Guangdong province, was the third outbreak this year and was likely to persist without rain.

“The weather remains sunny and hot, which means the red tide is here to stay for now,” Zhou said.

“We strongly urge the public to stay away from the polluted sea areas and not eat sea products from there,” he added.

Provincial and local governments have poured billions of yuan into cleaning up coastal waters off Guangdong, but discharges from human waste and heavy-polluting industries continue to take their toll.

The bloom would not cause major economic losses, Zhou said, but “the foul smell of the dying algae will be unpleasant for the people living in affected areas, and the tide’s annoying red colour will also mar the pleasant view”.

China has slowed, but not reversed, a rising tide of pollution from frenetic industrialisation, the national environment agency said on Tuesday in the face of increasing public anger over foul air and water.

original report from Reuters

Posted in China, Environment, Food, Guangdong, Health, Life, News, pollution, SE China, Shenzhen, Social, waste, water | Comments Off on South China City Hit By Biggest Ever Toxic “Red Tide”

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 »

10,000 Residents Protest Chemical Plant in East China

Posted by Author on June 4, 2007


By Xin Fei, The Epoch Times, Jun 03, 2007-

CHINA—On June 1, 2007, over ten thousand people in Xiamen went to the streets toten thousand protest in Xiamen, China, Hune 1, 2007 protest the government’s attempt to build a paraxylene (1) chemical plant. According to a witness, the Xiamen government went from a tough to a passive and compromising attitude.

(photo: On June 1, 2007, over ten thousand residents in Xiamen City protest the government building a chemical plant. Photo provided by demonstrator- from the Epochtimes Website)

The government knew about the demonstration beforehand and threatened employees from schools and government institutes not to join in the activity. Local media also received a government notice not to report the activity. There were still over ten thousand citizens that showed up.

One of the participants said the demonstration started at 9 a.m. and lasted till 5 p.m. The demonstrators went to the City Hall, Train Station, the Bureau of Environmental Protection, and Xiamen University. Hundreds of people held banners and shouted in front of the Xiamen City Hall, “Protect Xiamen and Refuse Pollution,” “No PX!” (paraxylene). These people were surrounded by hundreds of armed officers.

Growing Crowd

More people joined the demonstration on the streets downtown. Passersby joined the demonstration, including those on buses or in taxis. Slogans and ribbons were handed out by the demonstrators as they shouted, “It’s everyone’s responsibility to love Xiamen,” “We want it to stop, no stalling.”

One of the participants said the number of demonstrators reached ten thousand by 10 a.m. Many employees inside office buildings came out and joined the demonstration. Citizens in cars honked their horns to show their support. Many passersby clapped their hands and give out free water to the demonstrators.

Crowd Defuses Police Violence
Stand-off with the armed police.
Around 11:30 a.m., police cars stopped the demonstrators. Several people were injured in the conflict. The crowed shouted “No violence!” The parade finally broke through the road block and moved on.

(Photo: Stand-off with the armed police. Photo provided by demonstrator- from the Epochtimes Website)

At noon time, the demonstrators gathered in front of the City Hall. There was a stand-off between the armed police and demonstrators.Stand-off with the police 2 The crowd shouted and wanted He Lifeng, Party Chief of the Xiamen City, to step down.

Later there was a press release from the City saying that an environment safety evaluation will take six months and wanting the citizens to express their voice through regular channels.

After 2 p.m., two thousand people continued toward the Xiamen University. Many of them were children in school uniforms. Many drivers passing by the parade honked to show support.

Government Threats

A student said several days before the demonstration, counselors at high schools talked to all the students asking them not to join the activity. Schools informed student organizations and clubs and forbade students to join the demonstration. A student from Xiamen University said the students received notice from the university that those who went to the demonstration would be expelled. Government employees, Communist Party members, and their family members would be revoked their communist party membership if they joined the walk.

Many passersby said the demonstrators were very rational, calm and didn’t leave much garbage. The demonstrators kept quiet as they walked by hospitals.

The center of the PX project is four miles away from downtown Xiamen and Gulang Island, a national resort, and 2.5 miles away from the Xiamen Foreign Language School and the Beijing Normal University Affiliated High School that has 5000 students. There are over 100,000 residents who live within a three-mile radius of the plant.

(1) Paraxylene (PX) is a colorless liquid that is highly toxic.

original report from The Epoch Times

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