China Shuts Down Tens of Thousands of Factories in Unprecedented Pollution Crackdown

Rob Schmitz
NPR
In the gritty industrial town of Yiwu, workers prepare jeans to be dyed in a vivid range of colors.Two months ago, this factory — and this entire city, located in China's eastern province of Zhejiang — was a much quieter place. Inspection crews...

China’s New Antipollution Push Could Cool Its Growth Engine

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
China’s minister for environmental protection said Monday that even tougher measures will be coming. 

The Human Cost of China’s Economic Reforms

Robin Brant
BBC
Mr Yu is worried that millions of workers the Chinese government plans to lay off from failing state owned companies will be “abandoned” like he says he was 15 years ago.

China's Pollution Crackdown Is Gaining Momentum

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
That political will overlaps with an economic need to rein in surplus production of steel, aluminum and other basic materials after years of over-investment. How and when that capacity gets replaced will be a key factor in the economy’s performance...

China Targets Pollution on Eve of Xi Jinping’s Second Term

Tom Hancock and Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
A wave of environmental inspections in China has led to the closure of tens of thousands of businesses producing commodities from industrial chemicals to cement and rubber, pushing up prices and disrupting some global supply chains.

China Sees Difficulty Meeting 2017 Air Quality Targets: Minister

China faces difficulties in meeting its smog-fighting target for 2017, its environmental protection minister said during a visit to four heavily industrialized provinces in northern China, where the country’s air pollution problem is especially...

China’s Putting the Brakes on Coal for Heating Millions of Homes This Winter

Echo Huang
Quartz
China might start to see better air this winter as it prepares to heat heat millions of houses for the first time by gas, and continues a clampdown on coal to battle its deadly pollution.

Exclusive: One Ford, Two Systems - U.S. Carmaker Revamps China Strategy amid EV Push

Norihiko Shirouzu, Joseph White
Reuters
U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co (F.N) is overhauling its China plans as its global “One Ford” strategy is holding it back in the world’s biggest auto market, two high-ranking company insiders told Reuters.

China Gives Carmakers More Time in Biggest Electric-Vehicle Plan

Bloomberg
China unveiled a comprehensive set of emission rules and delayed a credit-score program tied to the production of electric cars, giving automakers more time to prepare for the phasing out of fossil-fuel powered vehicles.

Chinese Cities Order Steel Output Cuts Earlier Than Expected to Fend off Smog

South China Morning Post
The city of Handan in the top steelmaking province of Hebei has ordered steel mills to halve output a month earlier than expected, according to media reports, the latest city to ramp up efforts to reduce the smog that blankets northern China during...

300 Tonnes of Diseased Pig Carcasses – the Latest Example of China's Pollution Crisis

Tom Philips
Guardian
Stomach-churning symbols of the environmental calamity facing China have never been in short supply: exploding watermelons, toxic running tracks, rivers that flow the colour of blood.

China’s War on Smog Shakes up Ports; Tianjin Loses, Rivals Benefit

Meng Meng and Josephine Mason
Reuters
China’s war on smog is shaking up the country’s busiest ports, which handle billions of tonnes of cargo a year, forcing Tianjin to overhaul its business as northern rivals snare a greater share of vast coal and iron ore shipments, results show.

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.

Environment

08.02.17

Crowded Beijing Revives Old Plan for New Overflow City

from chinadialogue
On April 1, 2017—April Fool’s Day—the government made a surprise announcement that a satellite city bigger than New York would be built from scratch on the outskirts of Beijing. Official news site Xinhua described Xiong’an New District as the “plan...

Trump in Paris to Improve Ties despite Divergence on Climate, Trade

Xinhua
U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Paris on Thursday morning in a diplomatic move to soften divergence with France over climate change and trade liberalization by seeking common ground on security and fight against terrorism.

Sinica Podcast

06.28.17

Top U.S. Diplomat David Rank on Why He Resigned to Protest Trump

Kaiser Kuo & David Rank from Sinica Podcast
David Rank became the leading diplomat for one of America’s most important embassies during the transition when Iowa governor Terry Branstad formally succeeded former Montana senator Max Baucus as U.S. Ambassador to China on May 24, 2017. He soon...

Coal on the Rise in China, US, India after Major 2016 Drop

ABC
The world’s biggest coal users — China, the United States and India — have boosted coal mining in 2017, in an abrupt departure from last year’s record global decline for the heavily polluting fuel and a setback to efforts to rein in climate change...

In China, Xi Jinping’s New Mega City Xiongan Is Expanding Underground

South China Morning Post
Chinese geologists are examining subterranean conditions of Xiong, Rongcheng and Anxin counties, which will become a new district to rival special economic zones such as Shenzhen and Pudong in Shanghai, in the hope of building structures under the...

Nearly 14,000 Companies in China Violate Pollution Rules

Edward Wong
New York Times
Environmental inspectors in northern China have found that nearly 14,000 companies, or 70 percent of the businesses they examined, failed to meet environmental standards for controlling air pollution.

China Is Getting Serious about Fighting Climate Change at Home. Abroad, Its Investments Tell a Different Story

Los Angeles Times
China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has in recent years emerged as a global leader in climate action. The country’s use of coal — considered the single biggest contributor to anthropogenic climate change — has dropped every year since...

Dust Storm Chokes Beijing and Northern China

BBC
A dust storm is choking a large swathe of northern China including the capital, Beijing, in yet another air quality crisis to affect the country.

China’s Huge Dam Projects Will Threaten Southeast Asia as Water Scarcity Builds Downstream

Daniel Rechtschaffen
Forbes
A river is born high in the Tibetan Plateau, before snaking its way 3,000 miles south and emptying itself into the South China Sea.

India’s Air Pollution Rivals China’s as World’s Deadliest

Geeta Anand
New York Times
India’s rapidly worsening air pollution is causing about 1.1 million people to die prematurely each year and is now surpassing China’s as the deadliest in the world, a new study of global air pollution shows. 

Sinica Podcast

01.19.17

The State of Journalism in China—Ed Wong’s Exit Interview

Jeremy Goldkorn, Kaiser Kuo & more from Sinica Podcast
Edward Wong became a reporter for The New York Times in 1999. He covered the Iraq war from Baghdad from 2003 to 2007, and then moved to Beijing in 2008. He has written about a wide range of subjects in China for the Times, and became its Beijing...

China Smog: Millions Start New Year Shrouded by Health Alerts and Travel Chaos

Guardian
Millions in China rang in the New Year shrouded in a thick blanket of toxic smog, causing road closures and flight cancellations as 24 cities issued alerts that will last through much of the week. On the first day of 2017 in Beijing, concentrations...

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

Students in China Were Made to Take Exams Outdoors in Toxic Smog

Kevin Lui
Time
Widely circulated photos of the students, sitting at desks while blanketed in choking pollution, starkly dramatize the Chinese "airpocalypse"...

Smog Refugees Flee Chinese Cities as ‘Airpocalypse’ Blights Half a Billion

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Thousands head to pollution-free regions as haze descends on the country’s northern industrial heartland

Step Inside China’s Hellish, Illicit Steel Factories

Laura Mallonee
Wired
Kevin Frayer's photographs of illegal Chinese steel factories look like postcards from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution ...

China Chokes on Smog So Bad that Planes Can't Land

John Bacon
USA Today
Major cities across northern China choked Monday under a blanket of smog so thick that industries were ordered shut down and air and ground traffic was disrupted

Heralding Social, Financial Change, China Aims Blow at Iron Rice Bowl

David Stanway
Reuters
China has ordered state firms to smash the decades-old system of providing cradle-to-grave welfare support, known as the country's "iron rice bowl"...

Environment

12.13.16

Chinese Consumers Adopt Greener Lifestyle

from chinadialogue
For the last two years, Helen Ni has hosted low-carbon technology workshops for local kids and their parents. The informal gatherings take place at her ground-floor apartment in the Shanghai suburb of Minhang, close to Jiaotong University, one of...

China Riot Police Seal Off City Center After Smog Protestors Put Masks on Statues

Benjamin Haas
Guardian
Clampdown in Chengdu after protesters place masks on statues in anger at air pollution choking the city

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

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...

Environment

11.16.16

The Future of Public Interest Litigation in China

from chinadialogue
China has seen a rapid growth in environmental public interest legal challenges since January 2015, when a revised version of the Environmental Protection Law (EPL) came into effect. Nearly 100 lawsuits have been filed by both NGOs and public...

Trump Win Opens Way for China to Take Climate Leadership Role

Reuters
CNBC
Trump's election is likely to end the U.S. leadership role in the fight against global warming, and may lead to the emergence of an unlikely champion: China...

In China, It’s Always Greener on the Other Side

Matthew Kahn
Salon
China is making the difficult transition to cleaner energy, but their efforts will help mitigate climate change

Environment

10.25.16

China is Demanding Cleaner Shipping—So Should the Rest of the World

Barbara A. Finamore from chinadialogue
Last year, in response to growing awareness of severe air pollution problems in China’s coastal cities, the Chinese government adopted a ground-breaking program to cut pollution from ships. At its core is a commitment to reduce the sulfur content of...

China Tops WHO List for Deadly Outdoor Air Pollution

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

Features

09.15.16

China’s Teflon Toxin Problem

Sharon Lerner from Intercept
Since the late 1970s, the chemical industry has been at the heart of China’s dazzling growth. And as regulations increase around the world, many toxic chemicals wind up coming to China just to die a slow death. Teflon—the slippery substance used in...

Environment

08.29.16

Environmental Law Blunted by Crippling Court Costs

from chinadialogue
Zhenhua Ltd. is a glass-making firm based in Dezhou, a city in China’s northeastern Shandong province. The factory sits amid a cluster of modern residential areas, so when the company failed to limit its emissions of polluted air and dust into the...

Environment

07.21.16

Chengdu’s Pollution Is Complicated by Taxi Apps

from chinadialogue
Research carried out by Peking University’s Statistical Science Centre and Guanghua School of Management found that Chengdu suffers from air pollution 88 percent of the time—even worse than Beijing at 76 percent.

Environment

07.19.16

Schoolkids Suffer Toxic Air at Recycled Rubber Athletic Tracks

Michael Zhao
Chinese are known for recycling, and recycling everything. The industry is even responsible for making billionaires, like China’s “wastepaper queen” Zhang Yin.Yet when factories recycle irresponsibly, the consequences can be dire. Reports...

‘Unprecedented’: Trash From China Swamps Hong Kong Beaches

James Griffiths
CNN
Mountains of garbage are meters high at a popular beach....

China Vows to Replace ‘Poisonous’ Running Tracks at Schools

Owen Guo
New York Times
The Ministry of Education said it would inspect synthetic rubber tracks in schools across China during the summer break.

China Prosecutors Win Landmark Lawsuit Against Environmental Department

Brenda Goh
Reuters
First public interest case vs. government department producing dyes with inappropriate safeguards....

China Orders 255 Shanghai Industrial Facilities to Shut for G20

Meng Meng and Chen Aizhu
Reuters
The document, issued by the Shanghai Environment Protection Bureau, has ordered a wide range of companies to shut down for 14 days ahead of the G20 meet in Hangzhou.

Environment

05.19.16

Clear as Mud: How Poor Data is Thwarting Water Clean-Up

from chinadialogue
China’s central and local governments have barely made a start in trying to clean up the country’s heavily polluted water, despite fast-approaching deadlines for improvements and the launch of a comprehensive “ten point plan” over a year ago.Behind...

Media

05.03.16

Scandal Highlights China’s Weak Environmental Enforcement

from chinadialogue
For many Chinese, the country’s soil pollution crisis has become increasingly acute in recent weeks after several hundred children fell ill from attending a school built close to a former fertilizer factory.Almost 500 students at the Changzhou...

China's Toxic School: Officials Struggle to Contain Uproar over Sick Students

Tom Phillips
Guardian
Illnesses among pupils at Changzhou Foreign Languages School, with highly toxic illegal waste dumping blamed.

Conversation

03.11.16

Is China Doing Enough for the Environment?

Deborah Seligsohn, Angel Hsu & more
This week, at their biggest annual session in Beijing, Chinese lawmakers are expected to ratify the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan, which contains many new measures to address rampant pollution of the country’s air, soil, and water. Will the plan be...

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...

Green Space

02.29.16

The Odd Shapes of PM2.5

Michael Zhao
A recent episode of “Approaching Science,” a CCTV documentary series, discussed the smog that’s been choking the mainland for the past few years. The show interviews scientists and laypeople to paint a comprehensive picture of the challenges that...

India and China Have Most Deaths from Pollution

Suryatapa Bhattacharya
Wall Street Journal
Indian and Chinese fatalities accounted for 55% of pollution-related deaths worldwide.

Green Space

02.16.16

Gorging on Gadgets

Michael Zhao
Documentary filmmaker Sue Williams is finishing up her latest documentary about our beloved electronic gadgets, Death By Design. I was involved in the project and traveled with Williams to south China’s Guangdong province, to the the town of Guiyu,...