Hurricane Pan – Jennifer Chou
Splashed across the cover of the April 6th edition of the Chinese-language weekly Yazhou Zhoukan (published in Hong Kong under the auspices of the Ming Pao Group) is the provocative caption “Another Kind of Color Revolution.” The reference is not to a political movement along the lines of Rose Revolution or Orange Revolution, but to a grassroots campaign on a larger scale and of perhaps even greater significance: China’s Green Revolution.
The issue’s feature article, titled “Environmental Crises Have Given Birth to a New Democratic Movement in China,” details the concerted effort by the general public, NGO volunteers, lawyers, journalists, and a few “enlightened” government officials to bring about democratic initiatives through the cultivation of environmental consciousness.
Pan Yue, vice minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), is one of those “enlightened” officials. It was under Pan’s stewardship that SEPA launched three “environmental protection storms” in an effort to curb rampant pollution. The most recent, initiated in January, saw SEPA hit four cities with “regional permit restrictions” and threaten to close scores of power plants–some operated by the country’s four major power companies–unless they complied with pollution guidelines. [Full Text]