Friday, 20 September 2013

Solid Waste Adorns Beijing’s Grand Canal World Heritage Site


Solid Waste Adorns Beijing’s Grand Canal World Heritage Site 美离中国:大运河系列一

Here's an image I took of the pollution in the Grand Canal in Beijing after the devastating and fatal floods from July of 2012. According to various statistics, at least several dozen or so people died because of a faulty drainage system, although we will probably never know the true number of fatalities due to the government's pathological fear of the truth. One China Daily estimate put the figure at 77 deaths. A rule of thumb for gauging Communist Party statistics is to at least double or triple figures formally announced by the Chinese government that reveal any inadequacies or mistakes in governance.

As I understand it, the drainage system was donated and built by the Russians in the fifties, but was never even finished, nor has it ever been substantially upgraded or repaired since. Please feel to correct my information if you feel I have made any inaccurate statements.

A lot of this solid waste is still hanging on the side of the bridge over a year later! This is how the Chinese government treats a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its people’s human right to existence in the capital of China.

Although, it is only fair to add that both ordinary citizens and companies are actively contributing to the pollution of the waterways across China and there are signs forbidding dumping and fishing. Still, there is no visible attempt to curtail any of these so-called illegal activities, nor is there any systematic dredging or cleanup effort being undertaken that I’ve seen in 18 years of living in China. I do, however, genuinely pity the misguided fools who continue to fish for a toxic “free lunch”

Imagine how many jobs could be created for underprivileged and financially challenged citizens if a serious effort was made to at least clear out the solid waste from China’s river systems. Even if many toxic chemicals and heavy metals remained, it would still be a cosmetic coup for the formalist's school of leadership.

I was positive that they would undertake such a policy in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games, as it is a no-brainer, but the government’s vow of a Green Olympics quickly turned brown. A clearer example of unconditional entitlement by a dictatorial regime could hardly be found.

Not exactly the “Chinese Dream” from the propaganda murals so wastefully and superfluously plastered across the city at the expense of the Chinese taxpayers!

On a positive note, the Pearl River along the Shatian District of Guangzhou is no longer as thick, chunky and dark as French Onion Soup, like it used to be back in the early nineties.

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