Journalist Taige Li expresses concern that while the government is taking measures to improve Beijing’s air quality for the Olympics next summer, there is no long-term plan to resolve China’s severe environmental problems, especially the water shortage in the rapidly expanding capital. From China Dialogue:
It seems Beijing is revising its plans for improving air quality during the Games. Du Shaozhong, deputy director of Beijing’s Environmental Protection Agency, did not reveal specific details when he was interviewed on August 13, but he did say that during the Olympics, “strict measures will be implemented to reduce vehicle emissions, building site dust and other sources of air pollution.”
However, while it is quite plausible that these temporary measures will ensure good air quality for the 2008 Olympics, what about when the Games finish? [Full text]
Also related, read about a new government plan to divert water from rivers originating in the mountains in Tibet to the Yellow River. Activists are decrying the project, saying it will not benefit Tibetans.