Issue 4, April 9th to April 16th, 2009


Climate change made China’s drought? (Greenpeace, 4/16/2009) In the first two months of this year, northwest China was struck by a crippling drought, the worst for 50 years. Is this the latest sign of climate change in China?

Tough climate change policy would benefit China (China Daily, 4/13/2009) China has a uniquely important opportunity to help shape this momentous new chapter in history, one that can be grasped by taking a new look at its national policy on climate change.

Kunming’s arsenic lake contamination trial (China Environmental Law Blog, 4/15/2009) We wrote about the arsenic pollution in Kunming’s Yangzonghai Lake last September. We’ve got a reporter stationed outside the courthouse ‘round the clock, and will bring you news of the trial results as soon as they are announced.

China’s grand plans for eco-cities now lie abandoned (environment360, 4/6/2009) Mostly conceived by international architects, China’s eco-cities were intended to be models of green urban design. But the planning was done with little awareness of how local people lived, and the much-touted projects have largely been scrapped.


HSBC helps bring green lessons to the classrooms (Shanghai Daily, 4/15/2009) HSBC has formed a partnership with the Ministry of Environmental Protection's Center for Environmental Education and Communications (CEEC) to deliver environmental education to more than 700 Green Schools in China over the next three years.

Grassroots environmental activism, with Chinese characteristics (NEEDigest, 4/12/2009) In a somewhat rare state-sponsored rally, over 8,000 students gathered in Beijing’s Olympic Park last Saturday to show their commitment to environmental protection. The event launched the newest phase of the “Green Long March,” an ongoing effort to bring youth together and initiate a grassroots-esque environmental conservation movement nationwide.

Water schools shed light on degenerating Yangtze (Xinhua, 4/15/2009) An international school program engages more than 50,000 students from 27 middle and primary schools in Sichuan and adjacent provinces in a Water School for a Living Yangtze River.

Rolling under the river (Image, Shanghai Daily, 4/15/2009) Construction continues on the Nanjing Yangtze River Tunnel in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province. The tunnel, which is expected to be completed this year, will cross the river 65 meters underwater at its deepest point.

Hand-food-mouth disease deaths rise to 19 in E China province (Xinhua, 4/15/2009) One more child has died of hand-foot-mouth disease in Shandong, bringing to 19 the death toll in the eastern China province, according to health officials Monday.

China faces a water crisis (BusinessWeek, 4/15/2009) Over the past year getting clean water has been a struggle for many in China. In February one of the most severe droughts to hit China in a half-century affected some 5 million people and 2.5 million livestock in the provinces of Hebei and Henan, near Beijing.

Storm downs trees (Image, Shanghai Daily, 4/14/2009) A rubber tree falls onto a house during a 40-minute rainstorm in Mengla County, Yunnan Province, on Sunday afternoon. The rainstorm damaged farm houses and 25,000 rubber trees.

Green walls of China (Plentymag.com, 4/14/2009) As green roofs continue to top off buildings in the U.S., other visible but equally verdant structures are sprouting in many Asian cities.

Thousands of dolphins block Somali pirates (Xinhua, 4/14/2009) Thousands of dolphins blocked the suspected Somali pirate ships when they were trying to attack Chinese merchant ships passing the Gulf of Aden, the China Radio International reported on Monday.

US university returning prized mushrooms to China (AP, 4/13/2009) An Ivy League school is giving China back its treasured mushrooms.

Drury students bring clean water to China (News-leader.com, 4/12/2009) A group of Drury University students were sent to China to help bring clean, drinkable water to a village about an hour and a half north of Beijing, an announcement from the Drury Students In Free Enterprise said.

China’s first Vegetarian Day launched (China Daily, 4/10/2009) Today more than 100 scholars will attend a seminar to raise people's awareness of healthy food and environmental protection.


100 injured in acid leak (Shanghai Daily, 4/16/2009) About 10,000 workers and residents were evacuated and more than 100 workers hospitalized after three tons of hydrochloric acid leaked at a chemical plant in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province.

New hope for anti-bird flu drug (Shanghai Daily, 4/16/2009)

Scientists in Hong Kong and the United States have identified a synthetic compound that appears to be able to stop the replication of influenza viruses, including the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus.

QS solar may see 2010 capacity of 500MV (JLM Pacific Epoch, 4/16/2009) Shanghai-based thin-film solar cell manufacturer QS Solar may reach solar cell production capacity of 500MW by the end of 2010, reports Shanghai Securities News quoting QS Solar Chairman Sha Xiaolin.

China may import U.S. corn on competitive prices, Center says (Bloomberg, 4/13/2009) China, the world’s second-largest corn producer after the U.S., may import the grain from the U.S. as prices are now competitive compared with local supplies.

6 trapped in N China iron mine flood (Xinhua, 4/15/2009) Six workers were trapped in a illegally-operated iron mine that flooded Tuesday in north China's Hebei Province, local authorities said.

Three people stand trial for lake pollution in SW China (Xinhua, 4/14/2009) Three executives of a chemical company stood trial on Tuesday for their roles in the arsenic pollution of a lake in the southwestern Yunnan Province, said local authorities.

Taiwan bike maker Giant to open bicycle travel agency (DPA, 4/14/2009) Taiwan bicycle manufacturer Giant Inc plans to launch a travel agency to promote bike tourism, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Chinese scientists say they make peonies, symbol of wealth, bloom at will (Xinhua, 4/13/2009) It's taken more than 1,000 years, but the Chinese now say they can make peonies -- a symbol of prosperity in imperial times -- bloom at will.

China coal producers may get 20% increase in prices, Sohu says (Bloomberg, 4/13/2009) Chinese coal producers may get a 20 percent increase in price from the nation's power generators, news Web site Sohu.com reported today, citing the China Times newspaper.

BHP Billiton fails to sell coal-bed methane business in China (Bloomberg, 4/13/2009) BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, failed to sell its coal-bed methane business in China after being unsuccessful in getting regulatory approval from the Asian country.

Tianjin plans 23m-ton steel group (Agencies, 4/13/2009) China's northern city of Tianjin plans to merge its four State-owned steel mills into a group with annual capacity of about 23 million tons, the China Business News said on Monday, citing a company official.

Kazakhs, China in talks over stake in oil producer (AP, 4/13/2009) China National Petroleum Corp. is in talks with Kazakhstan's state energy company on acquiring a 49 percent stake in the Central Asian country's fourth-largest oil producer, a KazMunaiGaz spokesman said Monday.

Graft in China covers up toll of coal mines (The New York Times, 4/10/2009) When an underground fire killed 35 men at the bottom of a coal shaft last year, the telltale signs of another Chinese mining disaster were everywhere: Black smoke billowed into the sky, dozens of rescuers searched nine hours for survivors, and sobbing relatives besieged the mine’s iron gate.


Chinese experts urge Australia for effective climate change response (Domain-b, 4/16/2009) Chinese climate experts have urged rich countries to cut back on their wasteful and luxurious lifestyle, pointing out that Australia's carbon reduction targets were insufficient to reverse damaging climate change.

International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Energy to be held in Beijing (Xinhua, 4/15/2009) The International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century will be held in Beijing from April 20 to 22, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced on Tuesday.

China promotes new energy (People’s Daily, 4/15/2009) On February 17, four Chinese ministries and commissions—the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science and Technology, National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology—jointly designated 13 pilot cities to promote energy-saving and new energy automobiles, including Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing.

Jiangsu to release new solar stimulus (JLM Pacific Epoch, 4/14/2009) Jiangsu province plans to release a new plan to promote solar power applications soon, reports China Business News quoting an unnamed insider.

How much grain does China really have in reserve? (Xinhua, 4/14/2009) There was a three-month, nationwide government audit of China's grain stocks. On April 1, more than 100,000 auditors began checking granaries and inventory books.

China’s local governments required to make green procurement (People’s Daily, 4/14/2009) The State Council on April 13 asked local governments to buy more energy-efficient products, reflecting the country's determination to make its economic growth cleaner.

Polluters in China told to clean up their act (Xinhua, 4/15/2009) The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) has its sights set on heavily polluting, high energy-consuming and resource-intensive industries, and is launching a campaign to protect the health of Chinese residents.

China to build oil reserves that could meet 90 to 100 days of consumption (Shanghai Daily, 4/15/2009) China aims to build emergency petroleum reserves that could meet 90 days to 100 days of consumption, said Zhang Guobao, head of the National Energy Administration.

China builds world’s longest water diversion tunnel (Xinhua, 4/15/2009) Construction teams digging the world's longest water diversion tunnel completed their work Wednesday in northeast China's Liaoning Province, breaking a record held by Japan.

China looks to hemp for poverty alleviation (GoKunming, 4/14/2009) After years of sometimes confused policy in which industrial hemp was lumped together with its psychoactive cousin marijuana, the Chinese government is now actively promoting hemp cultivation as a tool for lifting rural Chinese out of poverty.

Yangtze alligators find new home in Qinghai-Tibet plateau (People’s Daily, 4/13/2009) A number of rare wild animals including Yangtze alligators and Australian red turtles were airlifted to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau for the first time. These animals will be housed in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau wildlife zoo and aquarium in the city of Xining in Qinghai Province.

Pearl River Delta reform program flagged off (Xinhua, 4/14/2009) South China's Guangdong province, one of the nation's key economic powerhouses, officially flagged off the Pearl River Delta region reform and development planning program over the weekend.

Soil erosion needs immediate treatment (Xinhua, 3/14/2009) China's Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) said Monday that eroded soil amounted to 4.5 billion tonnes every year, and 24 million hectares of affected arable land needed to be improved immediately.

Locals told to keep away from rail lines (Shanghai Daily, 4/13/2009) Residents living near the crossroad of Changzhong Road and Liang-cheng Road in Hongkou District have been crawling under fences to use land within the protected zone to grow vegetables, railway police said over the weekend.

China outlines plans for making electric cars (New York Times, 4/11/2009) Senior Chinese officials outlined on Friday how they aimed to turn their country into the world’s largest producer of electric cars, including a focus on consumer choice rather than corporate subsidies.

Malaria control plan unveiled (Xinhua, 4/11/2009) The Ministry of Health announced yesterday it has mapped out a draft plan to largely eradicate malaria by the end of 2015.

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