A yellow river runs in Shanghai’s taps – Bill Savadove

Asia Media article via China Environmental News Digest (link):

A reporter revealed ’s dirty secret live on national television yesterday by criticising the city’s drinking water quality in a question to Premier Wen Jiabao about the mainland’s environmental pollution.

“Shanghai’s water is simply undrinkable, and what’s more it’s yellow,” a Taiwanese reporter, who identified himself as Chou Yo-fei from the Taiwan Human Rights News, said in a lengthy statement as cameras carried his words to millions. Mr Wen used the question to discuss what the mainland was doing to tackle pollution, without mentioning Shanghai.

As Shanghai prepares to host the 2010 World Expo along the Huangpu River and attract more foreign companies, water quality is a big issue. Shanghai has set a goal of making it possible to drink water directly from the tap by 2010.

One housewife said she used a US-made water filter. “If I don’t use the filter, the water tastes a little bitter even after boiling and then it is no good for cooking. There must be some harmful substances in the water,” she said.

A South China Morning Post article about the mystery Taiwanese journalist who asked the question has also been posted on Asia Media.

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March 16, 2006, 8:04 AM
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