Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Lifelong responsibility mechanism to force officials to address pollution

By Lu Qiuping and Zhang Zhanpeng (Xinhua)

13:07, June 05, 2013

BEIJING, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Lin Chun-sheng never considered leaving Beijing until heavy smog shrouded the city earlier this year.

Lin, who graduated from a university of Chinese medicine in Beijing seven years ago, hoped to pursue his dream of becoming a professional doctor in the city. But the air pollution has made him reconsider.

"Smog is the only reason that I'm planning to leave Beijing," he said.

On May 24, President Xi Jinping called for comprehensive counter-pollution efforts. Speaking during an ecological construction study session with members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, he called for establishing a lifelong responsibility mechanism targeting those who conduct irresponsible decision-making that leads to severe environmental consequences.

Lin said Xi's speech touched on a key component in the fight against pollution, as only a lifelong mechanism can force government officials, who may escape punishment after ending their tenure under the current management system, to address pressing pollution issues.

Chinese officials are often criticized by the public for ignoring environmental pollution in favor of boosting local economies. Environmental problems are often revealed years after they complete their tenures, leaving the problem in the hands of their successors.

Pollution is a serious problem in China. A report released in March indicated that as much as 72 of China's biggest rivers have been contaminated with as much as 46,000 tonnes of heavy metals, including zinc, copper, lead and cadmium.

Last month, rice produced in central China's Hunan Province was found to contain excessive levels of cadmium, which was largely believed to be caused by water and soil pollution.

To curb pollution, south China's Guangdong Province has adopted an environmental protection assessment for government officials. The provincial departments of supervision and environmental protection jointly announced on May 9 that the supervisory department will question and criticize mayors who fail to curb pollution.

A lifelong responsibility mechanism will not only help fight pollution in relatively developed eastern areas, but also prevent polluted industries from moving to less developed western areas.

Zhong Kaibin, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said government officials in west China are now more likely to approve major development projects while neglecting their environmental impact.

In Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, hundreds of residents protested in May over plans to build an oil refinery near the city. Although government officials said the project passed feasibility studies and was approved by the country's top economic planner, residents still asked for the plant be relocated.

A mechanism to hold officials responsible for environmental damage for their lifetimes will prevent west China governments from favoring development over environmental protection, Zhong said.

Gao Wenxue, deputy chief of the environmental protection bureau of the city of Huai'an in east China's Jiangsu Province, said officials should bear a sense of shame if pollution is not properly addressed.

"We should feel ashamed if children cannot see stars in the sky at night or enjoy fresh air," he said.

Latest Development of the Fire

We Recommend:

State-owned barbershop dying out

China’s weekly story (2013.5.18- 5.24)

Wine club: a new way of life in the city

Left-behind children, victims of school violence

White angels in Chongqing South West Hospital

Baby abandoned in toilet pipe rescued

Children in rural areas: Fewer toys, more joy

Chinese-style hurdlers in street

Left-behind children before Children's Day

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:WangLili、Gao Yinan)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. China, U.S. naval ships open to public

  2. Police and Military Sniper World Cup 2013

  3. Child labor widespread in Gaza Strip

  4. Drone makes maiden flight over N China

  5. High hopes giant panda will give birth

  6. Dramatic dream in little theater

  7. Cartoons from 2D to 3D

  8. Series uncovers Peking Opera

  9. Digital currency bitcoin gains virtual interest

  10. 3D printing gallery opens in Chongqing

Most Popular


  1. Violation of women's rights root of sexual assaults
  2. China not to tolerate rogue act on S. China Sea
  3. Imaginaion: essential for cultural confidence
  4. How ZTE is winning the US market
  5. Global IT and techno-jingoism
  6. Copycats stifle Chinese innovation
  7. How to improve the job market

What’s happening in China

Dramatic dream in little theater

  1. Officials suspended for stamping on man's head
  2. Testing reveals problems with underground water
  3. Author's widow claims court victory
  4. Women asked to 'cover up' in case of harassment
  5. Chinese senior citizens' health causes concern