Archive for ‘Consumer protection’

28/06/2013

Exposure via internet now China’s top weapon in war on graft

SCMP: “The internet has become the primary tool for exposing corruption on the mainland, “removing a corrupt official with the click of a mouse”, according to a leading think tank’s analysis.

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In its Blue Book of New Media, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said that 156 corruption cases between 2010 and last year were first brought to light online – compared with 78 cases to resulting from reports in traditional media.

Forty-four cases involving disciplinary violations were first exposed in some form online, while 29 cases followed print and broadcast stories. Sixteen cases citing abuses of power were exposed online; 10 were revealed in traditional media.

Among the latest officials to fall from grace thanks to online revelations was Liu Tienan , a former deputy chief of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Liu was sacked in mid-May, more than five months after an editor of the influential Caijing magazine used his microblog account to expose allegations against him.

The report said revelations online, and the rise in interest in public affairs the internet had engendered, were the main reasons more people were participating in anti-corruption efforts.

However, the report cautioned that such efforts still had a long way to go. Only five officials of above departmental rank were brought down via online exposures last year – just a fraction of the 950 officials of that level who were probed for crimes.

The mainland had 564 million internet users at the end of last year, including 309 million microbloggers, according to the China Internet Network Information Centre. The Blue Book said the online community would likely exceed 600 million this year.

The new-media boom has posed an unprecedented challenge to Communist Party rulers, experts warned, due to the easy spread of information, including rumours. The report blamed the online rumour mill on governments’ declining credibility and growing concern on the part of the public.”

via Exposure via internet now China’s top weapon in war on graft | South China Morning Post.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/2012/04/26/understanding-social-media-in-china/

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02/02/2013

* China’s Environmental Protection Racket

WSJ: “Beijing’s choke-inducing air – which blanketed the city for nearly a week before being cleared away by a bout of sorely-needed wind on Friday — prompted Premier Wen Jiabao to call for action to protect the environment and public health.

If the premier and his colleagues can see through the smog on the policy front, they might consider something that has been all but overshadowed by the capital’s plight: the sorry track record of the environmental watchdog in little Nantong in east China’s Jiangsu province.

The problems in Nantong are a tale of environmental protection gone seriously wrong in a country where money clearly talks. They may also be small but critical components of an increasingly toxic environment.

According to a series of newspaper reports, online versions of which appear to have vanished into the country’s not-so-thin air, more than 30 environmental and other officials from the Nantong area were implicated in a scandal that involves bribery and turning a blind eye to pollution problems. Thanks to the reporting of the Shanghai-based China Business News (in Chinese here and here), it’s now fairly clear that Nantong environmental officials were running something closer to an environmental protection racket.

The newspaper, which had been following the story since the summer of last year, reported earlier this month that the scandal had reached the highest level of the local environmental protection bureau. Contacted by the Wall Street Journal, an official with the Nantong Environmental Protection Bureau was unable to elaborate beyond the official posting on the Nantong discipline inspection committee’s website, which stated that former bureau director Lu Boxin was found guilty of accepting bribes and sentenced to 12 years in prison (in Chinese).

This brief report, posted under the banner headline of “Study the Spirit of the 18th Communist Party Congress, Promote and Deepen the Anti-corruption Campaign and the Building of Clean Government,” said that the bribes were taken on more than one occasion.”

via China’s Environmental Protection Racket – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/economic-factors/greening-of-china/

21/01/2013

* Ex-minister blames China’s pollution mess on lack of rule of law

SCMP: “China had a chance to avoid environmental disasters some 40 to 30 years ago, the country’s first environmental protection chief has lamented amid worsening air and water pollution.

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But Professor Qu Geping, who has overseen environmental policymaking since the early 1970s, said pollution had run wild as a result of unchecked economic growth under a “rule of men”, as opposed to the rule of law. Their rule imposed no checks on power and allowed governments to ignore environmental protection laws and regulations.

“I would not call the past 40 years’ efforts of environmental protection a total failure,” he said. “But I have to admit that governments have done far from enough to rein in the wild pursuit of economic growth … and failed to avoid some of the worst pollution scenarios we, as policymakers, had predicted.”

Qu, 83, was China’s first environmental protection administrator between 1987 and 1993. He then headed the National People’s Congress environment and resource committee for 10 years.

After three decades of worsening industrial pollution resulting from rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, China has accumulated huge environmental debts that will have to be paid back, Qu said.

He said recently he regretted that some of the very forward-looking strategies – emphasising a more balanced and co-ordinated approach to development and conservation, that were worked out as early as 1983 – were never put into serious practice when China was still at an early stage of industrialisation.

In 1970, premier Zhou Enlai had invited a Japanese journalist to give a lecture to senior government officials on the lessons Japan had learned from a series of heavy metal pollution scandals that killed several hundred people during a period of rapid industrialisation in the 1950s and 1960s, Qu said.

“But looking back, China fell into the same trap again,” he said. “In some cases, the problems are even worse now given the country’s huge population and the vast scale of its economy.”

via Ex-minister blames China’s pollution mess on lack of rule of law | South China Morning Post.

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/economic-factors/greening-of-china/

17/10/2012

Just shows, there is no satisfying people, no matter what you do for them!

 

See also: https://chindia-alert.org/prognosis/chinese-challenges/

China Daily Mail

Despite more than 90% of Chinese feeling that they enjoy a higher standard of living than their parents, concerns over corruption, social inequality and food safety are growing, according to a Pew Global Attitudes Survey.

Most presidents and prime ministers would love to have the kind of GDP growthChina‘s incoming leader Xi Jinping will inherit. The fact that forecasters now predict China’s growth may “slow” to below 8% next year will probably elicit little sympathy from Greece‘s Antonis Samaras or Spain’sMariano Rajoy.

But by recent Chinese standards growth figures like this are a disappointment. A slowdown is particularly troubling for Xi because, as China prepares for its once-in-a-decade leadership transition, a Pew Global Attitudes survey conducted there this year finds that its citizens are also increasingly worried about a variety of other domestic issues, especially corruption, inequality and consumer protection.

In many ways, these rising…

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