One-fifth of China’s soil contaminated

Almost a fifth of China’s soil is contaminated, an official study released by the government has shown.Conducted between 2005-2013, it found that 16.1% of China’s soil and 19.4% of its arable land showed contamination. The report, by the Environmental Protection Ministry, named cadmium, nickel and arsenic as top pollutants. There is growing concern, both from the government and the public, that China’s rapid industrialisation is causing irreparable damage to its environment. The study took samples across an area of 6.3 million square kilometres, two-thirds of China’s land area. “The survey showed that it is hard to be optimistic about the state of soil nationwide,” the ministry said in a statement on its website. “Due to long periods of extensive industrial development and high pollutant emissions, some regions have suffered deteriorating land quality and serious soil pollution.”
via BBC News – Report: One fifth of China’s soil contaminated.

No, redheads have more fun

Chinese Valentine’s Day fell on Sunday and 56-year-old Liang Wengen was quick to point out the romantic benefits of Party membership.

“The wives of the majority of the Communist party members are prettier than the wives of non-Communist party members,” he mused.

“Chinese girls love Communist party members more because the party members have ideals and are dedicated and ready to make sacrifices,” he added.

Mr Liang is one of China’s richest men, with an estimated fortune of £940 million. He is the chairman of Sany, which manufactures heavy machinery.

He told a press conference that he had wanted to join the Communist party for 18 years, because he felt he would be better respected.
via Communist Party Congress: Women ‘prefer Communist Party cadres’ – Telegraph.

Embarrassment of riches

From The Guardian:

China has lashed out at a US newspaper report that premier Wen Jiabao’s family has amassed vast wealth worth at least $2.7bn (£1.68bn), censoring the New York Times website and questioning the paper’s motivations.

The story said Wen, widely seen as the humane face of China’s top leadership, was not directly linked to the holdings. But the association with such a fortune was in stark contrast to the man-of-the-people image he has cultivated.

A foreign ministry spokesman said the report “blackens China’s name and has ulterior motives”. Censors blocked the paper’s Chinese language website, at least partially obstructed access to its main site, and banned microblog searches for New York Times in English and Chinese.

Conk and riot in China

Some 1,000 workers went on the rampage in China following the death of one of their colleagues allegedly over a wage dispute, state-run media say. The mob stormed a government compound on Monday and overturned cars near the city of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province, Xinhua news agency reports. The incident was sparked by a fight over wages between migrant worker Yang Zhi, 19, and his boss at a bag factory. Mr Yang suffered a head injury and died in hospital two weeks later. According to Xinhua, it is claimed that Mr Yang, from Hunan province in central China, was hit on the head by his employer on 12 May when he tried to get his 1,070 yuan $168.30, £108.12 salary. Police detained the employer a few days later, but this did not appear to have satisfied the dead man’s colleagues. They stormed a government compound, throwing stones and bricks and overturning cars. They are asking for the boss to be severely punished for their colleague’s death.

via BBC News – China: Worker’s death sparks Wenzhou protest.