Special Reports
China Still Big on Slave Labor, Pollution

By Charles R. Smith
July 10, 2007

Progress is often hailed in China as a shining
example of how the West and the Chinese communists
are cooperating.

However, progress in China has a brutal price in
the forms of oppression, slave labor, and
unchecked pollution.

The truth about the Chinese pollution problem
reached the World Bank which decided to write a
detailed report. However, in true form to covering
up bad economic news, the World Bank decided to
delete key portions of the report at the request
of the Chinese communists.

According to the Financial Times of London,
information about Chinese pollution has been
removed from a World Bank report to avoid "social
unrest." "Missing from this report are the
research project's findings that high
air-pollution levels in Chinese cities is leading
to the premature deaths of 350,000-400,000 people
each year. A further 300,000 people die
prematurely each year from exposure to poor air
indoors, according to advisers, but little
discussion of this issue survived in the report
because it was outside the ambit of the Chinese
ministries which sponsored the research," states
the Times.

So the price of sending jobs overseas and driving
to the bottom to find cheap goods at major retail
outlets costs nearly a million Chinese citizens
their lives each year.

This little brutal detail, cut from the World Bank
report, is just the beginning. The report details
a nation in trouble because it is moving ever
deeper into a soup of dangerous chemicals. In
short, China is turning itself into a giant Love
Canal of pollution.

According to the World Bank report, or at least
the parts the communist government could not
censor, China is now the largest source of sulfur
dioxide (SO2) emissions in the world. The winds
may blow softly in Beijing but the wind carries
itself around the globe.

The dangerous air pollution levels in China are
shared globally with the rest of the world,
including the United States.

The facts about Chinese pollution are compounded
by the financial short-sighted nature of the one
ruling party. China has access to massive amounts
of U.S. cash, having exceeded a $200 billion
dollars trade imbalance last year. China has
nearly a trillion dollars of U.S. treasury bonds.

However, instead of cleaning up their own back
yards, the Chinese government has seen fit to
spend billions on new military hardware, and a
gigantic military space program.

Such simple things like fresh water are in short
supply. In China, nearly 30 percent of the
population lack basic sanitary facilities. One
study cited by the World Bank report noted the
lack of basic sanitation was beyond critical.

"Nearly one-fifth of the surveyed population did
not have access to safe sanitation and hence
relied on defecation in the open," states the

The bottom line is pretty clear. While Beijing
buys fancy jet-fighters from Russia and pumps
billions into nuclear tipped missiles, 400 million
Chinese citizens have no bathrooms short of going
outside or dumping the classic chamber pot.

"Two-thirds of the rural population is without
piped water, which contributes to diarrhea disease
and cancers of the digestive system . . . In the
period between 2001 and 2005, on average about 54
percent of the seven main rivers in China
contained water deemed unsafe for human
consumption . . . Some 300500 million people in
rural areas do not have access to piped water and
are exposed to severe health risks related to
polluted drinking water," noted the World Bank

Even the Chinese government is aware of the
growing problem with fresh water and poor
sanitation. "According to the primary
investigation, more than 300 million people in
rural areas cannot get safe drinking water,"
states the annual report from the Chinese Ministry
of Water Resources.

Poor sanitation has a great affect on water
quality but even worse is the cesspool of
chemicals found in Chinese drinking water.
According to World Health Organization report, 15
million people in China use drinking water from
groundwater wells with deadly arsenic
concentration levels.

"Water pollution has penetrated beyond infecting
the surface water found in lakes, rivers, and
streams, and over half of the cities now have
polluted groundwater," states the report.

One study cited by the World Bank report
considered risk factors of liver cancer around the
Nansi Lake in Shandong Province. They showed that
people who drank lake water, touched lake water,
or ate fish were more likely to get liver cancer
than people who drank large quantities of alcohol.
"Liver cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer
in rural China," noted the report.

Some of the pollution does not stay in China but
is exported as products to the rest of the world.
For example, the FDA has stalled the import of
five types of seafood from China following
concerns about the uncontrolled use of antibiotics
in high-intensity fish farming.

The FDA has also raised concerns about heavy-metal
contamination of agricultural products.
China is now the world's leading supplier of
seafood, shipping $1.9 billion worth of fish and
shellfish to the United States last year, making
it the third biggest foreign supplier in the U.S.

Clearly, polluted China is a very sensitive issue
to the ruling Communist Party. They pressed and
obtained the cooperation of the World Bank in
covering up a growing ecological disaster. The
Communist rulers know that pollution has the
potential to bring political change and destroy
the carefully crafted economy. It could also sweep
them from power since they have control over every
aspect of Chinese life. The Communist Party fears
that the people of China will learn the truth
about why they are dying.


Promoting Green Building Design, Construction and Operation, Sustainable Living,
Clean Technology, Renewable Energy Resources and Energy Independence