Posts tagged ‘Taiyuan’


When China Cleans Its Air, Health-Care Costs Plummet – Businessweek

Beijing residents checking the hourly air-quality index online and strapping air-pollution facemasks on their children may miss the halcyon days just before the 2008 Olympics, when the city temporarily cleaned up its skies (at least, relatively speaking). But not every city in China has seen the air grow darker over the past half decade.

Unidentified emissions from a coal-fired power plant in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China, in 2007

The northern city of Taiyuan, capital of coal-rich Shanxi province, has launched several measures to reduce coal burning and emissions. Although its skies are hardly clear, they are clearer. And that has made a noticeable difference in health outcomes and health-care costs, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Health.

Over the past decade, Taiyuan has closed several large coal-burning power plants and increased environmental monitoring of its other factories—effectively lowering the average concentration of PM 10 (particulate matter 10 micrometers in diameter or less). As a result, average PM 10 concentrations dropped more than 50 percent from 2001 to 2010.

The economic costs associated with pollution—including health-care expenses, loss of labor productivity, and premature death—correspondingly dropped more than 50 percent, according to estimates by the researchers. Specifically, the researchers correlated reduced air pollution over the course of a decade with 141,457 fewer hospital or doctor visits, 31,810 fewer hospital stays, 969 fewer trips to the emergency room, 951 fewer cases of bronchitis, and 2,810 fewer premature deaths.

via When China Cleans Its Air, Health-Care Costs Plummet – Businessweek.


Blasts at China regional Communist Party office kill one – BBC News

A series of small blasts have killed at least one person outside a provincial office of the ruling Communist Party in northern China, state media report.

The blasts in Taiyuan in Shanxi province appeared to have been caused by home-made bombs, Xinhua reported.

It said eight people had been injured and two cars damaged.

Photos posted on social media showed smoke and several fire engines at the scene of the incident, which happened around 07:40 local time (23:40 GMT).

No immediate explanation has been given for the incident. There have been occasions in the past where disgruntled citizens have targeted local government institutions.

They do not often make the headlines but explosions in China\’s cities are not unheard of. Earlier this year, in another part of Shanxi Province, Chinese media reported that a bomb exploded outside the house of a local law official, killing his daughter. The culprit was a pensioner enraged by a court ruling against him.

Last year the BBC reported on a suicide bombing in Shandong, carried out by a disabled man upset by lack of compensation for an industrial accident. Every year there are examples of attacks with crude weapons or explosives, carried out by the desperate, the dispossessed and the disturbed, usually triggered by a dispute with some arm of local government or a local official.

It\’s too early to say whether the explosions on Wednesday follow the same pattern. But some details will worry the authorities: the ball bearings apparently placed inside the bombs, increasing their destructive power; the fact that witnesses reported several explosions over a period of time. And the bombs were placed outside the local Communist Party headquarters – was the party itself the target, or was this just the product of a local dispute?

The authorities will especially be nervous after last week\’s apparent suicide attack outside the gates of the Forbidden City, especially as the capital also prepares to host a meeting of China\’s Communist Party elite on Saturday.

Tensions are also high in the wake of last week\’s incident in Beijing. A car ploughed into a crowd in Tiananmen Square in what the authorities said was a terrorist attack incited by extremists from the western region of Xinjiang.

Later this week, the Communist Party\’s top officials will meet in Beijing to start a major economic planning meeting.

via BBC News – Blasts at China regional Communist Party office kill one.


* Defiant villager leaves developers stumped over gravesite

Having seen the success of ‘nail house’ resisters in gaining better compensation, we now have ‘nail graves’. Wonder what will come next.

SCMP: “A villager refusing to concede to a property developer’s demands to move a family gravesite off a piece of land left construction workers no choice but to dig around the grave, leaving behind a bizarre sight that has since spread on social media.


The solitary grave, which now sits on a mound of earth 10 metres off the ground in the middle of a construction site in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, has been given the term “nail grave” by netizens.

The term is a play on “nail house”, which was coined by developers for homes belonging to people – “stubborn as nails” – who refused to move even after being offered compensation.

Media reports speculate that developers had offered to pay about one million yuan (US$160,400) to move the grave and headstone.

The construction site, which once served as a public graveyard for local villagers, is giving way to a residential complex expected to be completed in April.

Since construction started in 2009, most villagers had already moved their family’s graves after compensation agreements with the developer.

In the face of China’s rapid economic development, Chinese property developers have been meeting much greater public resistance to what many see as forced land-grabs. Most are compensated with amounts less than their property’s net worth.

“Nail graves are an inevitable product of our country’s progress…the souls of the dead can not rest in peace,” wrote one blogger on Sina Weibo, China’s main microblogging site.

Although China has long encouraged cremation due to an alleged shortage of land for burials, ancestors are traditionally held in deep respect and many in the countryside continue to construct tombs in accordance with culture.

A similar incident occurred last month when authorities from the city of Zhoukou, Henan province, were forced to stop a campaign to clear graves for farmland after the demolition of more than two million tombs sparked an outcry across the country.”

via Defiant villager leaves developers stumped over gravesite | South China Morning Post.


* Working Conditions: The Persistence of Problems in China’s Factories

WSJ: “A riot involving 2,000 workers at a factory in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan on Sunday night has once again shined a light on conditions at factories owned by Apple Inc. supplier Foxconn. The cause of the riot appears to have been a fight between workers that somehow escalated into larger-scale unrest. While the precise dynamics that led workers in the factory to run rampant remain unclear, it’s noteworthy that news of the incident comes with Apple recently announcing that advance sales of its iPhone5 have broken all previous records.

The success of the iPhone and similar products means competition among companies like Apple and Samsung, both of which rely heavily on Chinese factory supply chains, is likely to increase. This increase in competition, in turn, will crank up pressures in factories whose workers are already struggling under harsh conditions.

Associated Press

In this Monday Sept. 24, 2012 mobile phone photo, police in anti-riot suits cordon off a road near Foxconn’s plant in Taiyuan, capital of Northern China’s Shanxi province. The company that makes Apple’s iPhones suspended production at a factory in China on Monday after a brawl by as many as 2,000 employees at a nearby dormitory injured 40 people.

Recent reports have not only described the difficult conditions for full-time workers who are hired directly by these factories, but have also spotlighted the treatment of two other classes of employees– “dispatch labor” and “student interns”– in factories that manufacture components for both Apple and Samsung.”

via Working Conditions: The Persistence of Problems in China’s Factories – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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