Posts tagged ‘premier zhou’

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/

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