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
    3.
    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 ‘water’ Category

Chinese Activist beaten for daring official to swim in polluted river

Posted by Author on February 27, 2013


A Chinese farmer who dared a local environment official to swim in his province’s polluted rivers has been badly beaten in an attack his family says was linked to his activism.

Chen Zuqian, from the township of Banqiao in Zhejiang province, was one of a number of farmers and business people who publicly offered money to government officials to swim in  rivers to highlight the sorry state of China’s waterways. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, China, East China, Environment, People, pollution, River, Rural, Social, water, Zhejiang | Comments Off on Chinese Activist beaten for daring official to swim in polluted river

Crews use bare hands to clean the spreading oil spill in northeast China

Posted by Author on July 22, 2010


AFP, July 22, 2010 –

BEIJING — Chinese authorities battled Thursday to contain an oil spill on the country’s northeast coast amid reports it was spreading and as warnings emerged of a heavy long-term environmental impact.

The government has mobilised hundreds of fishing boats and other vessels to clean up the spill that occurred in the port city of Dalian, but Greenpeace said many people thrown into the effort were reduced to using their bare hands.

The spill happened last Friday after two pipelines exploded at an oil storage depot, triggering a spectacular blaze that burned throughout the weekend.

Officials said shortly after the spill that about 1,500 tonnes of oil were spilled into the Yellow Sea off Liaoning province.

A government estimate Monday said the slick had affected 435 square kilometres (around 170 square miles) of the Yellow Sea.

However, a report late Wednesday said the slick had spread to 946 square kilometres, and stretched as far as 90 kilometres along the coast. The report appeared in the Shenyang Evening News, based in the provincial capital.

The government has said about 40 special oil-skimming vessels were leading the clean-up and that 23 tonnes of oil-eating bacteria were being employed.

China National Petroleum Corp, the country’s biggest oil company and owner of the pipelines that exploded, said in a statement on its website Thursday that at least 400 tonnes of the spilt oil had been cleaned up already.

Zhong Yu, a Greenpeace campaigner observing the clean-up efforts, however said many of the mobilised civilians and firefighters had no equipment or protective gear.

“The citizens-turned-cleaners we saw yesterday in the sea basically did not have any protective gear and could only use their hands to clean up the oil,” she told AFP by phone.

Zhong said tourist beaches and other long stretches of coast were awash with black sludge up to 30 centimetres (one foot) thick near the shore.

“There is a strong smell of acid and oil in the air,” she said.

The economic impact was already being felt by businesses in the area, with state press reports saying tourist beaches normally crammed with summer visitors were empty. Some beaches were officially closed to the public.

The area also has a major fishing industry, but catches had been banned for now……. (more details from AFP)

Posted in China, Dalian, Environment, Liaoning, Life, NE China, News, pollution, water, World | Comments Off on Crews use bare hands to clean the spreading oil spill in northeast 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 »

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.

NTDTV

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

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.

AFP

Posted in China, Environment, Health, Inner Mongolia, Life, News, North China, pollution, water, World | Comments Off on More than 2,600 ill in China tap water contamination

China’s “cancer village”– Liu-kuai

Posted by Author on December 14, 2008


by Michael Anderson, SOH Radio Network, on Friday, December 12th, 2008 –

Industrial development and poor environmental protection has led to one village in Tianjin having a cancer rating 25 times higher than the national average. Liu-kuai is now dubbed China’s “cancer village”.

Liu-kuai village used to be a prosperous fishery and rice patty area about a decade ago, according to Chinese media. The village is now heavily concentrated with chemical industries, and there is now severe water and air pollution, barren lands and fishery decimation. The village is now plagued by cases of respiratory diseases and cancer.

In 2003, Liu-kuai villagers participated in a survey, and found that out of the 190 locals surveyed, 148 suffered from chronic headaches and nausea, and 39 suffered constant asthma, Tracheitis and other respiratory diseases. Since 1998, over 200 people have died from cancer there, the majority of them from lung cancer. The proportion of cancer sufferers in the village in the last10 years is 25 times higher than the Chinese national average, and there is almost one cancer patient to every family.

According to one local resident, they used to be able to drink straight from the river, and now they don’t even dare to drink well water. Water pumped up from hundreds of metres below ground level now comes up yellow with a strange smell. Many of the middle-aged women in the area have developed brain tumours from the severity of the pollution.

Over a hundred industrial chemical businesses are only a stones throw away from villager’s homes, and the waste water spouts they use are hidden below the water line. These businesses release waste water into the river day and night, severely affecting the health of local residents. The irony is that the government has cancelled medical benefits for rural people and these kinds of cases are becoming more and more common.

The above new is hosted by … for Inside China Today on the SOH Radio Network

Posted in China, Economy, Environment, Health, Life, News, People, pollution, River, Rural, water, World | Comments Off on China’s “cancer village”– Liu-kuai

China’s Environmental Crisis : Special report

Posted by Author on August 7, 2008


by the Council on Foreign Relations, USA, Aug. 4, 2008-

Introduction

China’s heady economic growth continued to blossom in 2007, with the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) hitting 11.4 percent. This booming economy, however, has come alongside an environmental crisis. Sixteen of the world’s twenty most polluted cities are in China. To many, Beijing’s pledge to host a “Green Olympics” in the summer of 2008 signaled the country’s willingness to address its environmental problems. Experts say the Chinese government has made serious efforts to clean up and achieved many of the bid commitments. However, an environmentally sustainable growth rate remains a serious challenge for the country.

What has China’s economic boom done to the environment?

China’s economy has grown tenfold since 1978, and its focus on economic development at breakneck speed has led to widespread environmental degradation. “China has gone through an industrialization in the past twenty years that many developing countries needed one hundred years to complete,” said Pan Yue, vice minister of China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in a 2007 report in Germany’s Spiegel. Yue was then the deputy director of China’s State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), which became the MEP in March 2008. But Elizabeth C. Economy, a CFR senior fellow and expert on China’s environment, says the argument that China is experiencing the same growing pains as any other industrialized nation “fundamentally mischaracterizes” the issue. The “scale and scope of pollution far outpaces what occurred in the United States and Europe” during their industrial revolutions, she says. Moreover, China’s environmental woes have hurt its economy. The damage to the ecosystem costs China about 9 percent of its GDP, according to the United Nations Development Program.

What are some of China’s major environmental challenges?
  • Water. China suffers from the twin problems of water shortage and water pollution. About one-third of China’s population lacks access to clean drinking water. Its per-capita water supply falls at around a quarter of the global average. Some 70 percent of the country’s rivers and lakes are polluted, with roughly two hundred million tons of sewage and industrial waste pouring into Chinese waterways in 2004. As part of its effort to harness the nation’s water supply, China has a large dam-building program with over twenty-five thousand dams nationwide–more than any other nation. The dam projects are not only a high cost in terms of money, but also in farmland loss, ecological damage, and forced migration of millions of people, says the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Jennifer L. Turner, director of its China Environment Forum, in a report for the Jamestown Foundation.
  • Land. Desertification in China leads to the loss of about 5,800 square miles of grasslands every year, an area roughly the size of Connecticut. The Worldwatch Institute, an environmental watchdog and research organization, reports that excessive farm cultivation, particularly overgrazing, is one of the leading causes of desertification. The cultivation stems from a policy followed from the 1950s to the early 1980s that encouraged farmers to settle in grasslands. As the deforestation grows, so do the number of sandstorms; a hundred were expected between 2000 and 2009, more than a fourfold increase over the previous decade. Desertification also contributes to China’s air pollution problems, with increasing dust causing a third of China’s air pollution.
  • Greenhouse gases. In 2008, China surpassed the United States as the largest global emitter of greenhouse gases by volume. (On a per capita basis, however, Americans emit five times as much greenhouse gas as Chinese.) The increase in China’s emissions is primarily due to the country’s reliance on coal, which accounts for over two-thirds of its energy consumption. It contributes to sulfur dioxide emissions causing acid rain, which falls on over 30 percent of the country.
  • Population and development. China’s inhabitants number more than 1.3 billion. The country’s growing economic prosperity and rapid development mean increasing urbanization, consumerism, and pollution. One example of this can be seen in car production: As Kelly Sims Gallagher notes in her book, China Shifts Gears, China produced 42,000 passenger cars in 1990. By 2004, the number hit one million, with sixteen million cars on China’s roads. By 2000, motor vehicles were the leading cause of China’s urban air pollution, though China adheres to stricter mileage standards than the United States.

How has the Chinese public responded to the environmental threat?

The government received six hundred thousand environment-related complaints in 2006, a figure that has risen roughly 30 percent each year since 2002. Aside from economic concerns over the cost of environmental degradation, the government recognizes that environment-related social unrest threatens central authority.

In May 2006, China Daily reported that roughly fifty thousand environmental disputes took place during the prior year. This mirrors an overall trend of a rise in the number of protests over the past decade, fueled by a sense of individual rights related to increasing openness and prosperity.

In June 2007, the citizens of Xiamen, a city on the southeastern coast known for its ecotourism industry, demonstrated (SFGate) against the construction of a chemical factory slated to be built nearby.

In May 2008, citizens in Chengdu demonstrated against the construction of a petrochemical factory and oil refinery (Reuters), citing environmental concerns……. (more details from the Council on Foreign Relations)

Posted in air, China, Environment, Law, Life, News, Politics, pollution, Social, water, World | Comments Off on China’s Environmental Crisis : Special report

Nearly 80 Percent of China’s Coastal Ecosystem Exposed to Severe Pollution

Posted by Author on February 26, 2008


Central News Agency, Taiwan, Via the Epochtimes, Feb 22, 2008-
TAIPEI-The Chinese 2007 Sea Environmental Quality Report, released by China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA), revealed that about 78 per cent of the 18 regions under ecological monitoring remain ecologically unhealthy.On Feb 11, the Xinhua News Agency reported that based on the SOA Report, pollution is worsening in three of the four marginal seas of China except the Yellow Sea. They found 28,000 square miles of coastal areas with offshore water quality below standard—a decrease of 2,500 square miles from the 2006 figure.

According to the report, most of China’s coastal waters are clean, and the distant seas have higher water qualities.

In the coastal regions near China’s growing industry, the main sea water pollutants were found to be inorganic nitrogen, active phosphate, and petroleum byproducts. In 2007, 87.6 per cent of the 573 monitored sewage outlets yielded an excess of chemicals. The rate of excessive pollutant discharge is the highest in the Bohai Sea area, reaching 91 per cent.

The 35.9 billion tons of waste water discharged into the seas contained 12.2 million tons of pollutants.

Posted in China, Environment, Life, News, water, World | Comments Off on Nearly 80 Percent of China’s Coastal Ecosystem Exposed to Severe Pollution

More Than 44% of Drinking Water in China Rural Areas Was Unhealthy

Posted by Author on February 21, 2008


AFP, Feb. 18, 2008-

BEIJING (AFP) — More than 40 percent of drinking water in rural China falls short of government standards, state media said Monday, citing a health ministry study.

The survey found 44.4 percent of all drinking water in the rural areas was unhealthy, leading to outbreaks of diarrhoea and other diseases, Xinhua said, citing the Ministry of Health……. (more details from AFP)

Posted in China, Environment, Health, Life, Rural, water | Comments Off on More Than 44% of Drinking Water in China Rural Areas Was Unhealthy

Dry, Polluted, Plagued by Rats: The Crisis in China’s Greatest Yangtze River

Posted by Author on January 19, 2008


Jonathan Watts in Beijing, The Guardian, UK, Thursday January 17 2008-

The waters of the Yangtze have fallen to their lowest levels since 1866, disrupting drinking supplies, stranding ships and posing a threat to some of the world’s most endangered species.

Asia’s longest river is losing volume as a result of a prolonged dry spell, the state media warned yesterday, predicting hefty economic losses and a possible plague of rats on nearby farmland.

News of the drought – which is likely to worsen pollution in the river – comes amid dire reports about the impact of rapid economic growth on China’s environment.

The government also revealed yesterday that the country’s most prosperous province, Guangdong, has just had its worst year of smog since the Communist party took power in 1949, while 56,000 square miles of coastline waters failed to meet environmental standards.

But the immediate concern is the Yangtze, which supplies water to hundreds of millions of people and thousands of factories in a delta that accounts for more than 40% of China’s economic output. According to the Chinese media, precipitation and water levels are at or near record lows in its middle and upper stretches.

The scale of the problem was revealed by the Yangtze water resources commission in a report on the Xinhua news agency’s website yesterday. It said that the Hankou hydrological centre near Wuhan city found the river’s depth had fallen to its lowest level in 142 years.

The measurement confirmed fears raised in recent weeks by the appearance of islands and mud flats not normally seen at this time of year. Local farmers reported far more ships than usual being trapped in unnavigable shallow waters.

Jianli county is among the areas suffering water shortages. Officials say the problem has grown worse in the past decade, raising concerns of a link to climate change.

“Before 1996, we were short of water for three months of the year, but now there are only three months when we can use water as normal,” Wu Chunping, the vice-manager of Jianli county’s water utility, was quoted as saying by Xinhua. “I heard that the water level will drop further in February.”

Li Lifeng, director of the freshwater programme of WWF China, said: “The major worry is for aquatic species and birds. If the water level goes too low they will lose a huge level of habitat.”

Among the endangered animals likely to be affected are the finless porpoise and the Chinese sturgeon, which returns to the sea at this time of year.

With the Yangtze three times as crowded with traffic as the Mississippi, conservationists fear the animals will be torn up by boat propellers or contaminated by more concentrated pollution from the 9,000 chemical plants along the Yangtze. Birds such as the Siberian crane may also suffer from the impact on their wintering area.

Local media have expressed concern that the drought could lead to a plague of rats similar to the one near Dongting lake last year after a drought was followed by fast-rising waters that drove the vermin to seek food in farm fields. “When the waters fall, the reeds die and the rats are driven inland in search of food,” said an official in the Yueyang farming and aquatic bureau who declined to give his name.

Original report from the Guardian

Posted in Central China, China, disaster, Drought, Environment, Health, Hubei, Life, News, Plague, pollution, River, Social, transport, water, World, Wuhan, Yangtze river | 1 Comment »

China’s Longest River at Lowest in 142 Years

Posted by Author on January 19, 2008


Reuters, Jan 17, 2008-

BEIJING, Jan 17 (Reuters) – China’s longest river, the Yangtze, is suffering from a severe drought this year with water levels in some areas falling to the lowest in 142 years, state media said on Thursday.

China is suffering its worst drought in a decade, which has left millions of people short of drinking water and has shrunk reservoirs and rivers.

Hardest hit are large swathes of the usually humid south, where water levels on several major rivers have plunged to historic lows in recent months.

On Jan. 8, the Yangtze water level at Hankou plunged to 13.98 metres (46 ft), the lowest since records began in 1866, the China Daily said on Thursday, quoting the Wuhan-based Changjiang Times.

“This year’s drought is rare,” Li Changmin, a farmer from central Hubei province, was quoted as saying. “Just days ago, I saw ship after ship running aground. I have never seen that before.”

Since October, more than 40 ships have run aground in the main course of the Yangtze, the world’s third longest river which stretches 6,300 km (3,900 miles) from west to east, the traditional dividing line between north and south China.

This year’s dry season came a month earlier than usual and water levels fell sooner than expected, an official was quoted as saying.

“Also, large amounts of water were stored at the Three Gorges Dam last month, which caused the flow volume in the river to fall 50 percent. But the Yangtze River Water Resource Commission said the drought has nothing to do with the dam,” the China Daily said.

The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric project, is an engineering feat that seeks to tame the Yangtze.

Backers say the dam will end devastating floods downstream and generate clean electricity. Critics call it a reckless folly that has brought wrenching dislocation for many people.

Drought and floods are perennial problems in China but meteorologists have complained about the increased extreme weather, pointing to global climate change as a culprit.

Original report from Reuters

Posted in Central China, China, dam, disaster, Drought, Environment, Hubei, Life, News, River, Three Gorges, transport, water, World, Wuhan, Yangtze river | Comments Off on China’s Longest River at Lowest in 142 Years

Google Earth Pictures: Polluted Water in China Discharged into Rivers

Posted by Author on January 12, 2008


Ri Zhao City

Above: Ri Zhao City, Shandong Province, east China

Suzhou City, Zhejiang Province, South East China

Above: Suzhou City, Zhejiang Province, South East China

Wu Xi City

Above: Wu Xi City, Jiang Su province, south China

Tian Jin City

Above: Tian Jin City, east China

Wei Fang City, Shandong province

Above: Wu Fang City, Shandong Province, east China

Xia Men City

Above: Xia Men City, Fu Jian Province, southeast China

He Fei City

Above: He Fei City, An hui province, east China

(All photos are from the Epochtimes’ website)

Posted in Anhui, China, East China, Environment, Fujian, Health, Hefei, Life, News, pollution, River, Shandong, South China, waste, water, World, Xiamen | Comments Off on Google Earth Pictures: Polluted Water in China Discharged into Rivers

China’s Three Gorges Dam Under Fire

Posted by Author on October 14, 2007


By LIN YANG, the Times, UK, Friday, Oct. 12, 2007-

The giant Three Gorges Dam across China’s Yangtze river has been mired in controversy ever since it was first proposed 88 years ago by Sun Yat Sen, the founding father of Modern China. In 1992, when Chinese Premier Li Peng submitted a proposal for the dam to China’s normally pliant parliament, the National People’s Congress, it ran into serious opposition and ultimately passed with the smallest margin in the legislature’s history.

Still, it is a sign of just how grave the problems are facing the world’s largest dam that criticism is now coming from top government officials in Beijing, who previously had studiously avoided saying anything derogatory about the $180 billion project. In June, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told a meeting of the State Council, convened to discuss the Three Gorges project, that solving environmental problems surrounding the controversial dam project should be a priority for the country. On Sept. 25, a group of senior government officials and scholars announced at a work meeting in Wuhan that the project had the potential to cause a “huge disaster … if steps are not taken promptly.” And on Oct. 9, the Chongqing municipal government announced it would have to relocate an additional four million people in at-risk areas due to environmental damange caused by the dam.

Originally built to control the Yangtze’s regular flooding, produce electricity to fuel China’s booming economy and (not incidentally) serve as a symbol of the nation’s emerging engineering prowess, the Three Gorges Dam has already faced a host of problems. An estimated 1.4 million residents have been displaced by the 640-km-long reservoir forming behind it, which also flooded several important archaeological sites. And some hydrologists say that by trapping silt the dam could actually make downstream riverbanks more vulnerable to flooding.

Now, however, scientists say things are getting worse. The water quality of the Yangtze’s tributaries is deteriorating rapidly, as the dammed river is less able to disperse pollutants effectively. The incidence of algae blooms have risen steadily since the reservoir was completed in 2006. The rising water is also causing rampant soil erosion, resulting in riverbank collapses and landslides along the shores of the Yangtze’s tributaries. Professor Lei Henshun, an environmentalist at Chongqing University who has devoted years to studying and preserving the Three Gorges ecosystem, says that if the water level of the reservoir reaches its planned height of 165 meters next year, it will bring tributaries of the Yangtze River under even greater environmental threat. “Now it’s a good time to review the problems that have arisen,” he says, “before a larger flooded area brings an even bigger impact on the tributaries.”…… (more details from the Time)

Posted in China, Economy, Environment, Life, News, Politics, River, Three Gorges, water, World, Yangtze river | 1 Comment »

An National Issue of China: 300 Million People Drinking Polluted Water

Posted by Author on September 11, 2007


ChinaScope Magazine, Tue, 09/11/2007-

The “The Law to Prevent and Treat Water Pollution (modified draft) of the People’s Republic of China” was publicized on September 5, 2007. In the just ended 10th NPC Standing Committee meeting on September 29, water pollution was placed as an issue of national survival. [1]

The director of the State Environmental Protection Administration, Zhou Shengxian, stated that half of the cities in China have severely polluted groundwater; 300 million people in the rural areas are drinking water with safety problems. In some areas, “all the rivers have dried and all the water has been polluted.”

Of China’s seven major river systems, the Songhua River, the Yellow River, and the Huai River are moderately polluted; while the Liao River and the Hai River are severely polluted. Water pollution has become a general problem.

According to a field visit by the NPC Environmental Committee in July, the speed of treating polluted water is far slower than the speed of pollution.

“When I was in my childhood, the water in the Yangtze River was clear and tasted sweet. Now it is not good,” a committee member who grew up on the riverside said. “We found that there are lots of floating things in the Three Gorges Dam, people can even stand on them.”

Economic development and environmental protection is a dilemma for local governments. A committee member, Jia Zhijie, said that Western countries had the lesson of pollution then treatment, whereas “we not only could not avoid the mistake, but have made a bigger mistake.”

“The pollution is a result of profit pursuing. However, the cost to treat the water pollution will be more than a dozen times the profit we have gained,” Jia also stated. “For example, to hold the World Horticultural Expo in Yunan, large amounts of money was spent to treat the Dianchi Lake pollution. However, 5 billion yuan was not enough, now they are asking for another 10 billion, which, however, still does not guarantee to completely treat the pollution.”

According to the statistics of the State Environmental Protection Administration, in 2005 there were 1406 accidents of environmental pollution in China, of which 693 (49.2%) were water pollution.

Water pollution accidents are usually not reported in a timely manner. For example, pollution in the Songhua River in 2005 was not publicized during the first 8 days.

The local governments usually push away their responsibilities. They often say that “the pollution came from upstream.” [1]

– Original report from chinascope.org : Water Safety Problems Afflict 300 Million People, the Chinese NPC Standing Committee Regard It an Issue of National Survival

Posted in China, Environment, Food, Health, Life, News, People, pollution, River, Rural, Social, water, World | 1 Comment »

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 »

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

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 covers up pollution deaths

Posted by Author on July 5, 2007


Mary-Anne Toy, Beijing, TheAge, Australia, July 5, 2007-

THE World Bank has reluctantly censored a report revealing that pollution-related diseases kill 750,000 people in China every year.

The bank acted under pressure from Chinese officials who feared the revelation would provoke “social unrest”.

Almost a third of the report, Cost of Pollution in China, produced in co-operation with several Chinese government ministries, was cut out, including a map showing where the deaths were concentrated.

China’s State Environment Protection Agency and the Health Ministry asked the World Bank to cut the calculations of premature deaths from the report, along with the map, when a draft was completed at the end of last year, London’s Financial Times reported, citing World Bank advisers and Chinese officials.

The environment agency’s role in the censoring is unusual given that it has aggressively used media exposure to campaign for public and political support for tougher action on pollution.

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

The report has yet to be officially launched, but the version omitting the most sensitive sections was released at a conference in Beijing in March. Chinese officials at the conference, however, mentioned the 750,000 premature deaths figure in their presentations, even after they had insisted on that data being removed.

The World Bank has previously reported that 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities were in China, with estimates of the number of deaths from pollution there around 400,000.

The new World Bank study found the figure is almost double that, with most deaths caused by air pollution in large cities. Indoor air pollution, mainly from fumes from coal-burning stoves and cooking oil, were responsible for about 300,000 premature deaths.

About 60,000 premature deaths were attributed to diarrhoea and cancers caused by polluted water, mainly in rural areas.

The published conference version of the report says the health costs of air and water pollution in China amount to about 4.3 per cent of its GDP.

“China’s poor are disproportionately affected by the environmental health burden,” it says, “and only six provinces bear 50 per cent of the effects of acid rain in the country.”

Yesterday, the World Bank’s Beijing office said it was negotiating with Chinese authorities on a final version of the report. “This is a joint research project with the Government and the findings on the economic costs of pollution are still under review,” it said. “The final report, due out soon, will be a series of papers arising from all the research on the issue.”

Responding to rising public anger about polluted waterways, soil and air, the legacy of often uncontrolled economic growth and international concern about global warming, Beijing has elevated environmental issues as a priority.

China launched its first national action plan for global warming this year. Although it was criticised for not going far enough and rejecting mandatory emission caps, the priority for the Government is to maintain economic growth to ensure social stability.

With fewer than 400 days to go to the 2008 Olympics, Beijing has just had its worst June since 2000, with 15 days of poor air quality last month. The International Olympic Committee said this week that Beijing authorities would withdraw a million cars from streets next month in a trial run to slash the city’s notorious smog.

original report from theage.com.au

Posted in air, Asia, censorship, China, Environment, Health, Life, News, Politics, Social, Speech, water, World | Comments Off on China covers up pollution deaths

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 »

“huge waste of taxpayers’ money”: Billions embezzled by China officials

Posted by Author on June 29, 2007


Rowan Callick, China correspondent of The Australian, June 28, 2007-

CHINA’S Auditor-General, “Iron Face” Li Jinhua, yesterday delivered his annual report to parliament, revealing massive embezzlement in government ministries and agencies.

The details are in the document handed to the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, which meets in private.

But the state news agency Xinhua listed the most troubling findings of the National Audit Office, whose boss earned his nickname by his unyielding exposure of official theft.

The National Development and Reform Commission, the chief planning agency of the Government, the Culture Ministry and 25 other major departments embezzled $430million.

The State Environment Protection Administration, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA), the General Administration of Press and Publication, the All-China Federation of Co-operatives, the General Administration of Civil Aviation (GCAA), and 13 other agencies embezzled $74 million.

The Ministry of Information Industry, the GCAA and two other departments built extravagant offices and training centres without approval or beyond the approved budget worth $271million.

The Water Diversion Office (charged with diverting water flows from south to north China), the General Administration of Customs and 31 other agencies diverted $134 million from the budgeted programs to entirely different activities.

The Education Ministry, the STMA and 19 other departments spent a total of $3 billion, for which there was inadequate explanation or other problems.

The Academy of Sciences, the Water Resources Ministry and 11 other departments invested $356 million in poorly managed projects, or in areas where the ownership remains uncertain.

The National Audit Office is a cabinet-level agency reporting to the Premier, Wen Jiabao. But Iron Face Li said this week it would in future report to the National People’s Congress, moving its accountability from the executive branch, which it audits, to the legislature.

In last year’s annual report, Mr Li revealed that in 2005 only $56 billion of $127 billion allocated to local government projects reached its destinations. He compared the process to a canal that winds its way through China’s timeless landscape, most of the water seeping away en route to its destination.

“The surprisingly high operating cost of the Government is a huge waste of taxpayers’ money,” he said.

Before presenting his latest report, Mr Li said local governments would now have to pay for mislaid social security funds.

His latest audit follows a survey by the National Economic Research Institute that claims China has a huge “grey income” hidden from the official statistics.

The institute says the 10per cent of families with the highest income earned $15,132 per head in 2005, not the $4524 the National Statistics Bureau had reported.

And major sources of this “grey income” include the administration and widespread bribery for licences.

Original report from The Australian

Related:
“Grey Income” Report: 55 Times Difference Between The Rich and Poor in China, Chinascope, 6/13/2007

Posted in China, corruption, Culture, Economy, Education, Environment, Law, Media, News, Official, People, Social, water | Comments Off on “huge waste of taxpayers’ money”: Billions embezzled by China officials