A Stand Against China’s Pollution Tide – Edward Cody
Tired and frustrated, Wang Guoxiang and other Xiangtan city officials were slurping a midnight snack of instant noodles last Friday when the anti-pollution chief for Hunan province walked into their crisis room. Immediately, Wang said, he stopped eating and shouted at the visitor.
At the top of his voice, he insisted that something be done to stop the discharge of poisonous metals that had begun three days earlier into the slow, meandering Xiang River, from which Xiangtan, 800 miles south of Beijing, draws its drinking water. As a people’s delegate, Wang recalled complaining to the environmental official, he and his allies had been fighting for months for more controls on upstream smelters but had found little support from the provincial authorities.