Wukan is a coastal Chinese fishing village with a population of approximately 13,000. Located in the southeastern province of Guangdong, Wukan rose to international prominence in 2011 when villagers began protesting against corruption at the city level and unfair compensation for land seizure. Villagers claim that, since 1998, more than 400 hectares of land had been seized without compensation and that corrupt Lufeng city officials have skimmed more than 110 million U.S. dollars from commercial land sale.
Feng Zhenghu is a Chinese human rights activist who openly supported the pro-democracy movement that ended in the Tiananmen Square Crackdown of 1989. In the 1990s, Feng studied and worked in Japan. Upon his return to Shanghai in 2000, the Shanghai government sentenced him to 3 years in prison for “illegal business activities.” After leaving jail, Feng became a self-taught lawyer and advocate of the rule of law, offering legal assistance to underprivileged Shanghai residents.
On 29 July 2012, thousands took to the streets after the Hong Kong government announced that by 2015 they would integrate mandatory national-education classes in Hong Kong’s public schools. The government’s plan would not affect international schools where rich families tend to send their children, but it would affect the education of children from the working and middle classes.
Just two weeks before the once-per-decade Communist Party congress to announce the party’s new leadership, farmers in the Zhenhai district of Zhejiang province expressed their concerns about pollution and the increasing number of internal organ diseases and cancer in the area by starting a campaign against the proposed expansion of the Zhenhai Refining & Chemical petrochemical plant. The plant was affiliated with Ningbo Sinopec, a branch of the state-owned Sinopec petroleum company.
On September 30, 2010, an article in People’s Daily, a Communist Party magazine in China, quoted Qiang Wei, Qinghai Province’s party secretary as saying that “mandating Chinese language was crucial” in all schools throughout the province. The majority (around 70%) of the students and teachers that lived in the Qinghai Province was ethnically Tibetan, and many considered themselves Tibetans living in China rather than Chinese citizens. However, the national majority, Han Chinese people, exercised the most authority in the region.
On 29 June 2012, the Shifang government in China’s Sichuan province announced the construction of a molybdenum-copper alloy factory. High school students in the area who were concerned about the factory’s environmental impacts sent the government a petition calling for it to cancel the construction. Reports estimated that the factory would pollute a radius of 60 km, encompassing Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province.
On the weekend of 3 and 4 May 2008, 400-500 residents in the capital city of Chengdu in the Sichuan province gathered in protest against the ethylene and petrochemical plant being constructed in Pengzhou, a neighborhood about 18 miles northwest of the city. Most protesters were concerned with pollution, and asserted in interviews that the plant should fulfill an Environmental Impact Assessment. Protesters were concerned that Chengdu’s location in the basin downstream from Pengzhou would make it particularly vulnerable to water pollution from the plant. Some sources indicat
According to state reports, the city of Guangzhou released plans for a trash incinerator in the neighborhood of Panyu in 2006. The trash incinerator was planned by local officials as a means to replace two over-flowing landfills and meet the waste needs of the 2.5 million residents around Panyu.
When plans were further publicized in fall 2009, local residents insisted that it was the first time they were hearing of the project. Local polls indicate that over 95% of residents were opposed to the construction of the plant.
It was announced in November 2006 that a chemical plant producing paraxylene (PX) and teraphalic acid would be built in the Haicang District 7km from Xiamen, a city of about 3.5 million residents in southeastern Fujian Province China. The two companies constructing the plant, Dragon Aromatics and the Xianglu Group invested some 10.8 billion yaun in the facility and local estimates showed that the plant would bring 80 million yaun of Gross Domestic Product to the city of Xiamen.
When the tropical storm Muifa broke along the shore of the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian on 8 August 2011 it broke through the protective dike in front of the Jinzhou Industrial Complex. The dike was immediately protecting some 20 metal tanks holding oil-based chemicals at the Fujia Chemical Plant. The Chinese government dispatched emergency workers, the Dalian Border Guard, and the military to provide emergency repairs to the dike. Local residents near the plant were evacuated.
Since April 2011 the JinkoSolar plant near the industrial city of Haining failed local Environmental Protection Bureau pollution tests. Throughout late August and early September 2011, local residents found a large quantity of dead fish in streams and rivers near the plant. On Thursday September 15, 2011, approximately 500 local farmers and residents gathered at the JinkoSolar plant to demand an end to the pollution. Due to lack of information, it is unclear which individuals or groups organized and orchestrated this demonstration.
In July 1975, the Dahe Dam on the Dahe River in Shanyang Township, southern China, was completed. The environmental toll of the project accumulated within months. Upstream of the dam, rising waters swamped homes and farmland, while downstream, water coming from the spillways scoured away riverbank, causing widespread erosion and loss of fertile land. The government anticipated a certain amount of upstream flooding, and accordingly compensated the affected population and relocated them when necessary. In the haste to complete the project, however, the engineers had ne
Post-WWI China was fraught with political turbulence and social unrest. The Qing Dynasty was overthrown in 1911 and the Republic of China was instated in its place, ending thousands of years of imperial rule in the country and generating a host of new streams of intellectual and political thought. However, warlords still ruled strong throughout many of the provinces, fueling a chaotic and backwards politics that an emerging intelligentsia sought to change.