Issue 27, September 25th to October 1st, 2009


Rising GDP or environmental protection? China’s dilemma (CSR Asia, 9/30/2009) Everybody also knows that many companies who contribute to the GDP also pollute the environment. Here are some examples from this year that show how China still has a long way to go before the slogans ring true.

A birthday wishlist (China Dialogue, 9/30/2009) The 60-year history of the People’s Republic saw a move from an era of revolution to one of pragmatism. The country’s low-carbon future, writes Julian L Wong, requires both approaches.

River of discord (China Dialogue, 9/30/2009) Hydropower projects in China have created tensions along the Mekong. Rivers know no borders, writes Michael Richardson, but dams do.

China’s carbon intensity plans and its impact on climate progress (The Green Leap Forward, 9/30/2009) President Hu Jintao (pictured right) of China announced that China will build on existing domestic climate change policies as embodied in its National Climate Change Programme and current Five Year Plan to step up its efforts on energy efficiency, development of low-carbon energy such as renewables and nuclear, and increase of forestry cover.

China leads way for solar energy (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/29/2009) Next month, Santa Clara's Applied Materials Inc. is scheduled to open a giant solar energy R&D center. The company is investing up to $300 million in the facility. It will not be situated in California, nor in the United States, but in Xian, China. Because China's where the action is.

The New Sputnik (New York Times, 9/26/2009) Most people would assume that 20 years from now when historians look back at 2008-09, they will conclude that the most important thing to happen in this period was the Great Recession. I’d hold off on that. If we can continue stumbling out of this economic crisis, I believe future historians may well conclude that the most important thing to happen in the last 18 months was that Red China decided to become Green China.

Giant fish on the verge of extinction (Inland News Today, 10/1/2009) One of the world's largest freshwater fish is on the verge of going extinct. A three-year quest to find the giant Chinese paddlefish in the Yangtze river failed to sight or catch a single individual. That means that the fish, which can grow up to 25 feet long, has not been seen alive for at least six years.

Ponca Nation gets $10.5 million settlement in environmental lawsuit (Indian Country Today, 10/1/2009) After nearly five years of litigation, the China Synthetic Rubber Corporation and its American subsidiary, the Houston, Texas-based Continental Carbon Company USA, has agreed to pay $10.5 million in a class action lawsuit with the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma and nearly 2,000 tribal home and landowners. Continental Carbon and its parent company are owned by the Koo family of Taiwan.

China’s first environmental civil case ends in mediation (Caijing, 9/30/2009) The All-China Environment Federation and Zhu Zhengmao, a resident of Jiangyin city, filed a court appeal on July 6 challenging a cargo logistics company's iron ore unloading operations without an environmental impact assessment and approval from authorities. The Intermediate People's Court of Wuxi City reviewed the case, marking the first civil environmental lawsuit with a civil society organization named as plaintiff accepted by a court in China.

Vast quantities of methane hydrate discovered in Northwestern China (Caijing, 9/30/2009) Deposits of flammable ice in China are estimated to be 35 billion tons in oil equivalent; extraction is expected to be possible in 10 to 15 years.

Getting plants to ride themselves of pesticide residues (Science Daily, 9/30/2009) Scientists in China have discovered that a natural plant hormone, applied to crops, can help plants eliminate residues of certain pesticides.

200 vultures sighted near Çhina’s border (The Times of India, 9/29/2009) At a time when the vulture population has all but disappeared 99% of India's four crore vultures have died in the last three decades, the sighting of around 200 bearded variety of the species in Lahaul-Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, comes as a ray of hope for wildlife enthusiasts.

China’s new Climate Center welcomes citizen scientists (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, 9/28/2009) The China Regional Climate Center, the newest of five international sites where volunteers work with scientists to conduct the world's largest experiment on the effects of climate change on forests, opened Sept. 22 in Gutianshan National Nature Reserve in eastern China.

Scientists announce trove of fragile new species in Mekong (Time, 9/28/2009) Right now, bird-eating frogs with fangs wait for their prey in the streams of eastern Thailand. Technicolor geckos scurry up trees on the Thai-Malaysian border, and ruby-red fish — previously only found in the Ukrainian ornamental fish trade — are swimming in the rivers of Burma. These are three of the 163 species discovered by various researchers in the Greater Mekong region of Southeast Asia last year, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) announced on Sept. 25.

Study says China quake a once in 4,000 years event (AP, 9/27/2009) China's devastating earthquake last year that left some 90,000 people dead or missing was caused by a geological event that occurs about once every 4,000 years, a study led by Chinese researchers said Sunday.

Feathered dinosaur older than earliest bird (New Scientist, 9/25/2009) The record for the oldest feathered dinosaur, which has stood for almost 150 years since the discovery of Archaeopteryx, has finally fallen to an even older fossil unearthed in China, shedding new light on the origin of birds.


West dedicates injection molding plant in China (Bioresearch Online, 10/1/2009) West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., the global leader in innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, recently announced the formal opening of its injection molding factory in the Shanghai Qingpu Industrial Zone (SQIZ) in China.

CPI receives approval for Haiyang Nuclear Power Project Phase I (Datamonitor, 9/30/2009) The China Power Corporation has announced that the Haiyang Nuclear Power Project Phase I has received approval from the Chinese National Nuclear Safety Administration.

Suntech brings utility-scale solar to China (PR Newswire, 9/20/2009) Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's leading manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules, today announced the completion and grid connection of the first 10MW utility-scale solar power project in China.

Chinese may by Nigeria’s oil blocks (Petroleum World, 9/30/2009) A leaked report states that Chinese energy major CNOOC is looking to acquire substantial in Nigeria's offshore oil blocks in a deal which could be worth around US$30 billion.

Sinopec, PetroChina shares fall on fuel price cut in China (The Wall Street Journal, 9/30/2009) At 0418 GMT, China Petroleum & Chemical, the country's largest refiner by output and known as Sinopec, fell 1.3% to HK$6.59, off an intraday low of HK$6.56. PetroChina, the country's largest oil and gas producer by output, was down 1.1% at HK$8.80.

China’s Sinochem bids $2.5 billion for Australia’s Nufarm (Reuters, 9/28/2009) Chinese state-owned Sinochem bid $2.5 billion for Australian farm chemicals group Nufarm Ltd (NUF.AX) on Monday, looking to gain a global footprint in a deal that could again test investment ties between China and Australia.

Drinking water purification system delivers safe portable water to villagers in China (Siemens, 9/27/2009) Certain areas of rural China lack access to potable water that meets national drinking water safety standards. Statistics show that over 200 million people in the Chinese countryside are drinking non-standard-conforming water, and in some villages the water is even endangering people’s lives. This was true in Shangba Village, Northern Guangdong, where a stable and efficient water treatment system was badly needed.

China’s 2009 auto sales forecast to hit 12.6 million (AP, 9/25/2009) China's auto sales should soar to 12.6 million units this year, up 35 percent from 2008, boosted by subsidies that the industry is lobbying Beijing to extend, a government researcher said Friday.


“EARTH” t-shirt spells out China’s green drive at National Day parade (Xinhua, 10/1/2009) The word of "EARTH" printed on the T-shirts worn by the paraders of the environment formation were among a few English letters shown at New China's 60-year birthday pageant.

China orders crackdown on industrial overcapacity (AP, 10/1/2009) China announced sweeping curbs on surging investment in steelmaking, cement and other industries, warning that chaotic overexpansion was raising the danger of job losses and trouble for banks.

China’s Northeastern University collaborates with Shenyang and IBM on ‘Smart-City’ work (Campus Technology, 10/1/2009) China's Northeastern University, the City of Shenyang, and IBM are collaborating in a research institute aimed at turning Shenyang, an industrial hub in northeast China with a concentration of heavy industry manufacturing, into a "smart city." Shenyang aims to be the country's model city for environment protection and development. The university has about 31,000 students. Shenyang has a population of about 7.2 million people.

US official: China could lead in electric vehicles (AP, 9/30/2009) China's fast-growing electric car producers could take the lead in the global industry if the United States fails to invest heavily in the technology, a U.S. energy official said Wednesday.

China plans to encourage local use of solar cells (Reuters, 9/30/2009) China will consider measures to support domestic consumption of solar cells made from local polysilicon materials, while taking international demand into consideration, the government said on late Tuesday.

China ready to join international work in combating desertification (Xinhua, 9/29/2009) China is ready to work with the international community to contribute to the fight against global desertification, a Chinese forestry official said Monday.

China adds 16 national nature reserves (China CSR, 9/29/2009) It is learned from Gov.cn, the official web portal of the Central People's Government of China, that China has approved 16 new nature reserves.

China ‘expanding’ African oil reserves (Telegraph, 9/29/2009) The move by CNOOC, the Chinese state-controlled oil giant, to acquire concessions in 23 prime blocks could create conflict with western oil groups including Shell, Chevron, Total and ExxonMobil who already own stakes in the blocks.

China’s wind farms come with a catch: Coal plants (The Wall Street Journal, 9/28/2009) China's ambition to create "green cities" powered by huge wind farms comes with a dirty little secret: Dozens of new coal-fired power plants need to be installed as well.

Big plans for Fujian island revealed (China Daily, 9/28/2009) Pingtan Island is to be transformed into a special economic zone to allow further industrial cooperation with Taiwan, it was announced by the Fujian provincial authorities Sunday.

China completes world’s highest-resolution 3D map of the moon (Xinhua, 9/27/2009) Chinese experts Monday announced that the country's space scientists had completed the world's highest-resolution three-dimensional map of the moon.

Beijing vows to crack down as lead poisons 121 children (AFP, 9/27/2009) China vowed Sunday to crack down on heavy metal polluters after officials confirmed a new major lead poisoning outbreak had left 121 children with excessive levels of the metal in their blood.

China says cutting energy use, but behind target (AFP, 9/27/2009) China said Sunday it expects to cut energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product by five percent this year but meeting a pledge to cut consumption by 20 percent by 2010 would be difficult.

China sees unfulfilled potential in the wind (USA Today, 9/27/2009) Among the many people with concerns about the enormous wind turbines being built here, count Jing Xiuwan.

China official warns on “too fast” nuclear plans (Reuters, 9/27/2009) China may have to put the brakes on the construction of nuclear power plants to ensure the plants are safe, the country's top energy planning official told reporters on Sunday.

Animal killings arouse controversy (China Daily, 9/25/2009) The killing of all dogs and cats by township government officials in response to one probable rabies death in Sichuan Province has aroused controversy and public anger. More than 4,000 dogs and cats were slaughtered in the weeklong campaign that ended on Wednesday.

China to remain reliant on coal for the long term (AFP, 9/25/2009) China will continue to rely on coal for most of its energy needs for a long time, a senior official said Friday, just days after the nation's president pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

China starts building major oil reserve in Xinjiang (Global Times, 9/25/2009) China started building a 5.4-million-cubic-meter strategic oil reserve in the far western Xinjiang region Thursday in the latest effort to ensure its energy security.

China might boost US effort to capture carbon gases (McClatchy Newspapers, 9/25/2009) As the United States begins spending $3.4 billion in stimulus money to seek a commercially viable way to capture carbon dioxide from coal burning and bury it underground, some energy experts say that doing some of the work as a joint project in China would cut costs and time.
Shanxi abolishes small mines (Global Times, 9/25/2009) The authority of Shanxi Province, China's largest coal producer, has given all its private coal mines an ultimatum: agree to merge with large-scale companies, mostly State-owned, by Wednesday or face water and power shutdowns.

China to import 6 -7 million tons of crude oil from Kazakhstan in 2009 (Caijing, 9/25/2009) China, the world's second-largest energy consumer, will import 6-7 million tons of crude oil from Kazakhstan via pipeline this year, an industry official said on Sept. 23.

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