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. China Environmental Woes Threaten Social Stability

Zhang Lijun warned that in some areas corrupt officials were sheltering polluting local industries for monetary gain. "We have heard many complaints saying, 'No clean official, no clean water'," Zhang said. Copyright AFP
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) May 05, 2006
China's environmental woes are becoming an increasing threat to social stability, with over 50,000 disputes and protests related to pollution recorded last year, state press reported Thursday.

"This environmental problem has become one of the main factors that affect national safety and social stability," the China Daily quoted Pan Yue, deputy director of the State Environmental Protection Administration, as saying.

"If current economic development, production and consumption remains unchanged, the faster our economy develops, the more problems we might have to face, such as these kinds of group emergencies."

The paper, citing other senior officials with the watchdog, said the rate of environmental disputes and mass protests was growing by 30 percent per year. More than 50,000 such disputes were recorded in 2005, it said.

"With people's rising demand for a better environment, China has started having high rates of environmental disputes and even mass protests," the paper quoted Zhang Lijun, another administration deputy director, as saying.

Zhang further warned that in some areas corrupt officials were sheltering polluting local industries for monetary gain.

"We have heard many complaints saying, 'No clean official, no clean water'," Zhang said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
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Pollution In Far East Russian River 30 Times Above Norm
Moscow (AFP) May 01, 2006
Russian scientists are continuing to register higher than normal levels of water pollution in the Amur river after last year's blast at a benzene factory upstream in northeast China, Russian television reported Sunday.



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