China's obsessive push for economic growth in recent decades has taken a terrible toll on the country's environment.
Heavy smog plagues many of China's metropolitan areas. Mining and chemical waste contaminate the soil, which in turn contaminates the food that grows in it. Industrial runoff pollutes water sources, making it unsafe to drink. Seven of the world's ten most polluted cities in the world are now in China, according to the World Health Organization.
The consequences in China are deadly. A study by the Health Effects Institute and several other partner organizations, including the World Health Organization, found that 1.2 million premature deaths in China were linked to air pollution in 2010 alone. Cancer rates are skyrocketing with six patients are diagnosed with cancer every minute, a public health crisis many attribute to the country's rampant pollution.
The ruling communist party has been reluctant to sacrifice development in order to tackle the widespread pollution. But as the condition of the environment has deteriorated, so has the public's patience. The country has seen a rash of demonstrations of angry residents protesting development projects that could pollute the area in the past few years.
- 9 December, 2013: PHOTOS: Heavy Smog Chokes China
- 9 October, 2013: China's Air Pollution Monitoring Network: Too Little, Too Late?
- 22 May, 2013: Cadmium-Laced Rice Found in China
- 17 May, 2013: China's Kunming Residents Stage Another Chemical Plant Protest
- 12 May, 2013: Shanghai Residents Protest Battery Plant Over Potential Pollution
- 6 May, 2013: China Censors Chemical Plant Protest
- 11 April, 2013: Every Minute Six Patients Are Diagnosed with Cancer in China
- 5 April, 2013: 28,000 Rivers Disappear from Chinese Map
- 20 March, 2013: Tokyo Smog Stokes Fears of China's Spreading Pollution
- 12 March, 2013: Chinese Microblogger Detained After Questioning Dead Pigs Scandal
- 12 March, 2013: Thousands of Dead Pigs Found Floating in Shanghai River
- 27 Feb, 2013: Interactive Map of China's Most and Least Polluted Places
- 25 Feb, 2013: China, Pollution and Cancer Villages
- 19 Feb, 2013: Citizens Document Extreme Water Pollution in China
- 16 Jan, 2013: ‘Avoid Outdoor Activities': Record-Breaking Air Pollution in Beijing
- 7 Jan, 2013: Unaware, China's Handan City Consumed Toxic Water for Days
- 3 Nov, 2012: Water Pollution Threatens Lives in Inner Mongolia's Tengger Desert
- 30 Oct, 2012: China: Ningbo Protests Point to Middle Class Discontent
- 29 July, 2012: China: ‘Violent’ Pipeline Protest in Qidong
- 17 April, 2012: China: What is Causing the Death of Endangered Finless Porpoises?
- 14 Aug, 2011: China: Large NIMBY Protest Erupts in Dalian
- 20 Dec, 2011: China: Guangdong Uprising, Now in Haimen
- 14 April, 2010: China: Strolling to save East Lake in Wuhan repressed
- 1 Dec, 2009: China: Environmental Issues, Citizens on Move
- 7 Oct, 2009: China: Plenty of Trash to Burn
- 8 Aug, 2008: China: Beijing Doesn't Love Masks?
- 4 July, 2008: Beijing Announces Traffic Rules to Combat Air Pollution
- 9 June, 2008: Updates on China's Plastic Bag Ban
- 31 May, 2008: Plastic Bag Ban Takes Effect in China
- 13 May, 2008: China: ‘Strolling’ for the Environment
- 30 April, 2008: China: The Green Olympics and an Actress as UN Eco Ambassador
- 21 April, 2008: 11-year-old Chinese Environmentalist and Circuit Board Recycling
- 19 March, 2008: Environment: China's Challenges from Pollution to Severe Storms
- 17 Dec, 2007: China: Pollution Map of China Released
- 12 July, 2007: China: 750,000 Annual Pollution Deaths
- 1 Jun, 2007: China: Liveblogging from ground zero
- 7 April, 2007: China: Inner-City Toxics Plant Protested
- 28 Nov, 2005: China: Water Crisis in Harbin