China Is Fueling a New ‘Resource Curse’ — and Riots around the World

Renard Sexton
Washington Post
During the past 15 years, China’s demand for primary commodities has triggered a dramatic increase in natural resource extraction in the developing world.

Hong Kong Cleans Up 93 Tons of Palm Oil; Beaches Smothered By Spill

Donny Kwok and Anne Marie Roantree
Reuters
Hong Kong stepped up efforts on Wednesday to clean up a massive palm oil spill, with authorities scooping up more than 90 tonnes of foul—smelling, styrofoam—like clumps in one of the worst environmental disasters to blight the territory’s waters.

Depth of Field

02.16.17

Riding into the New Year

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
As preparations for the Chinese New Year got underway, Liang Yingfei set up a roadside studio and asked migrants traveling home by motorbike to stop for a quick photograph. While in Cambodia for the Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops, Jia...

China Replaces Anti-Pollution Charges with Beefed Up ‘Green’ Tax

Wu Gang
China will start collecting environment protection taxes in 2018 to strengthen enforcement that authorities said local governments had interfered with

Going Green in China, Where Climate Change Isn’t Considered a Hoax

Matthew Kahn
Salon
Chinese leaders want to improve the quality of life in their nation's cities...

China is Outsourcing Its Pollution

Kara Sherwin
Foreign Policy
Beijing's diplomacy is increasingly green, but its international trade is getting ever more coal-black...

Through Climate Change Denial, We’re Ceding Global Leadership to China

Daniel Gardner
Los Angeles Times
Remember when China was the climate change outcast? What a difference a few years — and an election — can make

Despite Climate Change Vow, China Pushes to Dig More Coal

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Desperate to deliver coal before power stations run out, China mobilizes trains and half-mile lines of trucks

China Risks Wasting $490 Billion on New Coal Plant, Say Campaigners

AFP
Guardian
Carbon Tracker says many plants running at overcapacity but China reluctant to wean itself off coal, fearing unemployment and unrest

Conversation

11.21.16

Will China Take the Lead on Climate Change?

Sam Geall, Barbara A. Finamore & more
At a time when the world is looking to China and the United States, the leading emitters of greenhouse gasses, to cooperate under the terms of the Paris Climate Change Agreement of 2015, will China now take the lead in fighting climate change?

Smog May be Easing, but in Parts of China Water Quality Worsens

David Stanway and Sue-Lin Wong
Reuters
Despite commitments to crack down on polluters, the quality of water in China's rivers, lakes and reservoirs in several regions has deteriorated significantly...

China Tops WHO List for Deadly Outdoor Air Pollution

Adam Vaughan
Guardian
More than 1 million people died from dirty air in one year

China’s Coal Towns Are Literally Sinking

Scott Cendrowski
Fortune
Hundreds of thousands are being moved from regions made unsafe from coal companies.

Environment

05.26.16

Beijing Calls South China Sea Island Reclamation a ‘Green Project’

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Sand, cement, and Chinese military facilities now sit on top of some of the South China Sea’s once-thriving reefs; China has built over half a dozen new artificial islands in a bid to bolster its territorial claims in the hotly disputed region. Such...

Environment

03.10.16

How China’s 13th Five-Year Plan Addresses Energy and the Environment

Deborah Seligsohn & Angel Hsu
For the first time ever, a senior Chinese leader announced in his work report to the National People’s Congress—his most important formal speech of the year—that environmental violators and those who fail to report such violations will be “severely...

Environment

07.22.15

China, Both Major Cause of and Potential Solution to Illegal Logging

from chinadialogue
China is now the world’s largest importer and consumer of wood-based products. Its booming domestic market is the main driver of growth in imports, though the country is also now the world’s most important timber-processing hub. In 2013, China’s...

Environment

04.16.15

Petrochemical Plant Explosion Vaporizes Government Safety Assurances

from chinadialogue
Opposing the construction of petrochemical plants making Paraxyline (PX), a key ingredient in plastic bottles and polyester clothing, has been one of the most common forms of environmental activism for China’s urban residents in the past decade.On...

Environment

03.11.15

China’s Polluted Soil and Water Will Drive up World Food Prices

from chinadialogue
China’s push for more intense farming has kept its city dwellers well-fed and helped lift millions of rural workers out of poverty. But it has come at a cost. Ecosystems in what should be one of the country’s most fertile regions have already been...

Sinica Podcast

03.09.15

Under the Dome

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
Under the Dome, Chai Jing's breakout documentary on China's catastrophic air pollution problem, finally hit insurmountable political opposition last Friday after seven days in which the video racked up over 200 million views. The eventual...

Conversation

03.03.15

Why Has This Environmental Documentary Gone Viral on China’s Internet?

Angel Hsu, Michael Zhao & more
[Updated: March 6,  2015] Our friends at Foreign Policy hit the nail on the head by headlining writer Yiqin Fu's Monday story "China's National Conversation about Pollution Has Finally Begun." What happened? Well, in the...

Is Chinese Corporate Behavior Improving in Africa?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The list of grievances against Chinese companies operating in Africa is long and varied, from violations of labor rights to environmental destruction to widespread allegations of corruption. Although it is hard to tell how many companies are truly...

Environment

02.05.15

Parched Beijing’s Olympics Bid Based on Fake Snow

from chinadialogue
Where better for a Winter Olympic Games than famously arid north China?Drought and a fast growing economy have created water shortages so severe that China’s government has spent more than a decade, and up to U.S.$80 billion, constructing 2,400...

Environmental Filmmakers Have Rare Impact in China

Louise Watt
Associated Press
One clip shows a girl swatting flies from a younger child among piles of trash. Another has children blowing up used medical gloves like balloons. The footage is on the computer screen of Wang Jiuliang as he edits his second film about waste harming...

Environment

12.05.14

The Great Lake in Danger

Wilfredo Miranda Aburto & Carlos Herrera from Confidencial
Southwest of the Maderas volcano, where the Rivas coast is a line fading into the distance, Lake Cocibolca’s inmensity is on prominent display: breezes softly comb stretches of water that are seemingly endless. Sonar has marked this as the deepest...

Environment

12.05.14

A Catastrophe for Nicaragua’s Great Lake

Carlos F. Chamorro from Confidencial
Eighty years old, with more than a dozen books on national geography and natural resources to his name, he is the most authoritative voice in the country on environmental issues. Jaime Incer Barquero, former Minister of the Environment and Natural...

Environment

12.04.14

Indian Critics of Tibet’s First Dam ‘Exaggerating’ Dangers

from chinadialogue
Tibet’s first major dam, the Zangmu hydropower station, started generating electricity at the end of November. This prompted complaints from Indian media that Chinese dam building on the Yarlung Zangbo River could reduce water flow and cause...

Environment

03.11.14

It’s Time to Cooperate on the Yarlung Tsangpo

Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue
This is part of a special series of articles produced by thethirdpole.net on the future of the Yarlung Tsangpo river—one of the world’s great transboundary rivers—which starts on the Tibetan Plateau before passing through India and Bangladesh.The...

Chinese Drivers Pollute Without Guilt

Adam Miner
Bloomberg
Chinese demand for private transportation soars while air-quality plummets. 

Environment

09.23.13

Chinese Coal Demand to Peak by 2020

from chinadialogue
Over the last decade, predicting the future of global energy markets has centered more or less on what people thought China was going to do. Analysts and researchers have since assumed that Chinese coal demand is insatiable and will continue along...

Is the Shark-Fin Trade Facing Extinction?

Chris Horton
Atlantic
China’s embrace of conspicuous consumption has manifested itself at the dinner table. One item, more than any other, has possessed the power to confer face and status upon the host: shark fin soup.

Environment

08.07.13

China’s Abandoned Steel Mills Are a Threat to Public Health

from chinadialogue
China’s steel industry has been in trouble since 2011, with numerous bankruptcies nationwide. The city of Tangshan in Hebei province has been no exception. Though the city is Hebei’s biggest steel maker, with its 70 million tons of annual production...

China's Bad Earth

Josh Chin, Brian Spegele
Wall Street Journal
Industrialization has turned much of the Chinese countryside into an environmental disaster zone, threatening not only the food supply but the legitimacy of the regime itself.      

Environment

07.25.13

Comment: Polluters Shouldn’t Be the Judge of Other Polluters

from chinadialogue
If the law sets a criminal to catch other criminals what do you think those criminals will think? My colleagues have discovered that new legislation threatens to do just that.A new draft revision of the Environmental Protection Law is now online for...

Environment

07.24.13

Government-Backed NGO Under Pressure to Act Against China’s Largest Coal Miner

from chinadialogue
The All-China Environmental Federation (ACEF), a government-backed NGO, is being urged to take legal action against the Shenhua group, one of China’s largest energy companies and also a member of the ACEF.A subsidiary of the Shenhua group in Inner...

Reports

07.23.13

Thirsty Coal 2: Shenhua’s Water Grab

Greenpeace
This investigation report is a follow-up to the 2012 Greenpeace and the China Academy of Sciences joint study: “Thirsty Coal: A Water Crisis Exacerbated By China’s New Mega Coal Bases.” In this report, we focus on the most controversial part of...

Environment

07.16.13

Local Officials in North China Quit Smoking to Fight Air Pollution

from chinadialogue
If you are planning to quit smoking, here is another reason to do so—it can fight air pollution, at least according to local officials in China’s northern Hebei Province.Officials in Cangzhou city, Hebei vowed to quit smoking in front of a mass...

Media

05.01.13

The Long Battle Over “White Pollution”

In the past weeks, Chinese citizens have learned that the styrofoam boxes from which they eat their lunches will soon be legal. On February 16, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s highest economic policy-making body,...

Environment

04.10.13

Writing Yunnan a Rubber Check

Chris Horton
Our van stopped at a scenic vista on the contour road where verdant mountains undulated southward toward China’s border with Laos. Stepping out to take some photos, I was overcome by an acrid, unpleasant odor. I asked my local travel partner, Xiao...

Environment

03.22.13

Public Fury After Chinese Environment Minister Keeps Job

from chinadialogue
In his eight years as China’s environmental protection minister, Zhou Shengxian has failed to keep almost a single promise. I say “almost”: he has kept his word at least when it comes to his own career—as promised, he has not quit.When the new...

Environment

01.25.13

Climate Change, Not Grazing, Destroying the Tibetan Plateau

from chinadialogue
Sanjiangyuan—which literally translates as the “three river source area”—feeds China’s mightiest rivers. The 300,000-square kilometer region, high on western China’s Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, provides a quarter of the Yangtze’s water, almost half of...

Environment

01.15.13

We’re Winning the Air Pollution Data Battle—So What Next?

from chinadialogue
Last year, China made a breakthrough in the publication of air quality data, as more than sixty cities started to monitor and publish levels of the dangerous air pollutant PM2.5. But the figures themselves were depressing. With PM2.5—fine...

Environment

01.02.13

China’s New “Middle Class” Environmental Protests

from chinadialogue
China’s urban residents (or the new “middle class”) protest on the streets only very rarely. Discontent is expressed almost exclusively online, via angry typing. But this has changed over the last five years—protests have come offline and on to the...

PM 2.5 Kills Thousands, Researchers Say

Wu Wencong
China Daily
An estimated 8,572 premature deaths occurred in four major Chinese cities this year due to high levels of pollution.

Caixin Media

09.05.12

Making a Killing on Herbal Medicine

Mushroom gatherers converge and crawl on hillsides in Qinghai province every March while foraging for wild caterpillar fungus.Theirs is not a garden-variety morel hunt. Caterpillar fungus is a hard-to-find parasite that infects and mummifies a host...

Sinica Podcast

04.20.12

In Dialogue with chinadialogue

Jeremy Goldkorn, Isabel Hilton & more from Sinica Podcast
After a few upbeat weeks on political intrigue in Chongqing, Sinica is back this week with another depressing show about the various ways China is killing us all. This week our conversation turns to cadmium-laced rice, endangered species, and the...

China’s Boom: The Dark Side in Photos

Orville Schell from New York Review of Books
I have seen some woeful scenes of industrial apocalypse and pollution in my travels throughout China, but there are very few images that remain vividly in my mind. This is why the photographs of Lu Guang are so important. A fearless documentary...

China’s Assault on the Environment

Jonathan Mirsky from New York Review of Books
In 1956 Chairman Mao wrote the poem “Swimming,” about a dam to be built across the Yangtze River. This is its second stanza:A magnificent project is formed. The Bridge, it flies! Spanning North and South, and a Natural Barrier becomes a thoroughfare...