China Policy Institute Blog

China’s environment, modernisation and investigative reporting

Written by Jingrong Tong. In a recent book I examined environmental risk discourses constructed through environmental investigative reports and their contribution to offsetting the hegemonic discourse of modernisation promulgated by the Chinese state. I analysed the practices and outputs of environmental investigative journalism, discourses on environmental problems as well as the interaction between offline reporting and online …

The Three Gorges Dam: China’s Clean Energy Hero or Villain?

Written by Christopher Dent. Hydropower remains by far the world’s dominant renewable energy source for producing electricity, still well over twice the combined installed global capacity of wind and solar. China accounts for over a quarter of worldwide hydropower installed worldwide, having embarked on the world’s most ambitious large dam-building programme since the 1990s. By …

Fighting the Water Giant: Lawsuits against Veolia in China

Written by Wang Xinhong and Hermann Aubié. One month ago in Lanzhou, a heavily industrialized city of 3.6 million people in the northwestern province of Gansu, a district court accepted the filing of four lawsuits by fourteen citizens against Lanzhou Veolia Water Company after almost a year of struggle. From “Rumour” to Reality The cause …

China’s Twin Quests for Energy Security and Low-carbon Transition

Written by Guy C.K. Leung. Another round of the UN climate conference will be held in New York on 23 September, and it is a good time to review the energy governance of the world’s biggest carbon emitter, and its implication for global climate change. China faces an “energy dilemma” as it seeks to ensure continuity …

Climate Change Legislation: China Has Politics, Too

Written by Terry Townshend. National legislation is often cited as a critical element of a credible and effective international response to climate change. National laws not only help to create the political conditions that enable an international climate change agreement to be reached but, once the new agreement is sealed, it is national legislation that will put …

GM in China: ‘Paranoia’ and public opinion

Written by Sam Geall. Biosafety certificates permitting Chinese researchers to grow genetically modified rice and corn expired last week, with little indication that the Ministry of Agriculture will renew them. The certificates, issued in 2009, concerned two types of Bt rice, which express a gene of the bacillus thuringiensis bacterium, conferring pest resistance, and phytase …

GM-modified Corn, Protectionism and Normal China

Written by Tyler Rooker. On December 20th close to 600 thousand tons of corn from the US was denied entry to China on the basis that it was genetically-modified with MIR 162, a version of corn that does not have a “security certificate” in China. Last month, 60 thousand tons of the same GM corn …

NGOs, Adaptive Capacity, and Hydropower Politics in China

Written by Oliver Hensengerth. On 23 January 2013, China’s State Council published its 12th Five-Year Plan for Energy Development (能源发展“十二五”规划). It forms part of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) and outlines plans to begin the construction of

China’s Speculative Urbanism and the Built Environment

Written by Hyun Bang Shin. Critics have been speculating since the 1990s that China had already entered an ‘urban age,’ with a large number of migrants unaccounted for in the national census. But it was not until 2011 when the majority of the country’s national population were to be found, officially, in urban areas for the …

China and the environment: Will the sun shine?

Written by Sam Geall. Fighting official corruption in China can be achieved through a more open “sunshine government” (政府阳光), said Chinese premier Li Keqiang in a recent speech. It’s an opinion that was apparently shared by the country’s last ad