Children attending the Chhangzhou Foreign Languages School north of Shanghai have been poisoned by a cocktail of toxic chemicals. Students and staff moved to a new campus in September 2015. Recently 641 of the students were examined by physicians. 493 were recommended for medical treatment.
Some of the students were suffering from fairly mild ailments like eczema and bronchitis, but others were sick with lymphoma and leukemia.
It has been established that the new campus was built on what is called a “brownfield” site, one that is known to have had some chemical pollution but is not heavily poisoned. The site was formerly occupied by three chemical factories, now closed. A former factory worker admitted that the factory that he worked at dumped toxic waste into the local river and buried other poisons.
Investigations into the site have shown that chlorobenzene is present at a level about 100 000(yes it is one hundred thousand) times greater than what is considered safe. It is known to damage liver, kidney and nervous system. In addition it is a carcinogen. In addition, high levels of carbofurans, methomyl(pesticide), carbon tetrachloride, mercury, lead and cadmium have been found on the site.
Professors specializing in environmental issues told CCTV the environmental assessment report that justified the construction of the new campus did not look for pesticides. And they said that builders had used heavily polluted groundwater during the construction process. China Daily
Already it seems that the official news sites are downplaying the seriousness of the incident. A quick check of the Xinhhua news site yielded a “cannot connect” result.
China is in trouble after years of flagrant pollution by factories. The Chinese environmental minister revealed last week that 80% of their ground water, including shallow and artesian wells, is unfit for human consumption.
A violent incident occurred in Kenya when China accused some Taiwanese citizens in Kenya of a cyber-scam. They went to court in Kenya and were cleared of all charges. They were still held in jail.
The Chinese government wanted a total of 23 people flown back to the PRC. The Taiwanese refused to go. The Kenyan police cooperated with the PRC officials to force the Taiwan citizens on planes to fly back to Beijing.
A violent incident ensued involving tear gas and numerous police with automatic weapons.
“They refused to cooperate with the deportation … so the police broke down the walls, using teargas, and then more than 10 police went in with assault rifles,” Chen told reporters in Taipei. The Guardian
One of the persons deported carries an American passport. The USA and Taiwan have military agreements regarding the island's independence.
A further 22 people have been detained in Kenya and may also be facing forcible removal to the PRC.
This is not the only incident of forced extradition to China from Kenya. Twenty-two others are reported to have been whisked off to face Chinese justice. To help pay Nairobi for their expenses and trouble, it has also been reported that $600 million was paid by China. That is unconfirmed. While it is also unconfirmed, hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of aid have been funneled into Kenya from China.
This has set off a diplomatic firestorm as China maintains that Taiwan, formerly called Nationalist China, is part of China and subject to their laws. They have stated that Taiwan is a renegade province and that there is one China.
China has been exercising its updated military muscle in the S. China Sea, claiming territory there as well as installing military hardware to enforce its claims. It also claims islets that are claimed by Japan.
In what looks like a deliberate provocation shortly after the elections in Taiwan which saw the PRC’s pushing for reunification robustly rebuffed, China has placed numerous surface to air missiles on the beaches of Woody Island.
The island is a disputed piece of territory claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan. Currently the island is occupied by China. It is part of a chain of disputed islands in the South China Sea. Depending on which country is referring to the area, the chain is called the Paracel Islands, Xisha by China or Hoang Sa by Vietnam.
Satellite photos showing the deployment are just the latest issue to ramp up tensions in the region. China claims complete ownership of the shallow sea but that claim is disputed by six of its neighbours. The US is reviving its military presence in the Philippines, one of the claimants. Today Vietnam has requested help in its claim.
In addition to the revelation about the missiles, new photos show an expansion of island building by the Chinese. Massive dredging operations have created islands where reefs once existed and satellite images show military installations. The latest information shows two more island building projects. Currently an estimated 1 200 ha(3 000 acres) have been added.
China is pushing its claim to the area by attempting to restrict air and sea transportation through the area. The US has flown over the disputed area. In the last six months the US has also sailed two naval ships through the disputed area.
The S. China is believed to have large supplies of untapped petroleum products. It supports an important fishery. It is one of the busiest trade routes, accounting for approximately 30% of the world’s shipping. The cargoes are worth over US$5 trillion each year.
Lunar New Year celebrations in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong broke down into chaos and rioting as police cleared away street vendors. While the vendors were temporary, they were deemed illegal and orders went out to clear them. Traditionally the street vendors would sell their wares to the many celebrants.
Protesters and police fought pitched battles leaving dozens injured and 61 arrested. The streets were littered with bricks and public property damaged. The violence was greater than that seen during street demonstrations in 2014.
The chief HK chief executive condemned the violence and expressed sympathy for the injured police personnel. He announced that investigations into whether the mayhem was orchestrated by those opposed to Beijing’s increasing control of the former British colony.
In January thousands took to the streets of HK to protest the disappearance of five booksellers. Chinese agents are believed to have abducted them. One of the disappeared appeared on a mainland TV station confessing to a hit and run in the PRC December 2003 and stated that he was willing to accept “any punishment”.
Another book seller, Lee Bo, holds a UK passport and his disappearance and subsequent surfacing in mainland China had the UK foreign secretary expressing “deep concern” over his treatment.
While HK was guaranteed more freedom than mainland China when they returned to the PRC, some freedoms have been eroded. The freedom of expression is one of those guaranteed. Book sellers and publishers have been able to offer publications that were banned by the central government.
Those in the PRC are celebrating the Year of the Monkey. According to the official news agency Xinhua, the riots in HK are not newsworthy. When I entered “Hong Kong riots” into their search section I got the following message:
From RFC 2068 Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1:
10.5.1 500 Internal Server Error
The server encountered an unexpected condition which prevented it from fulfilling the request.
South China Morning Post
It is expected that under the DPP government that the indigenous people of the island will be represented in greater proportion than ever before.
The island, formerly called Formosa, has had various colonizers and conquerors since the 17th century.
China(PRC) maintains that Taiwan is a renegade province of theirs. They have tried to woo the people by holding out the idea of close but privileged status within the whole, much like Hong Kong. That model is under close scrutiny right now as many of the privileges/rights that the HK citizens are supposed to have is being eroded.
Street demonstrations protesting the creep of central power have been held. Even more chilling to the HK people is the recent disappearance of five HK book publishers. They specialized in ensuring that books banned by the PRC government were published and available in HK. Free speech is one of the guarantees that HK was granted. At least one publisher is known to be in the PRC. He phoned his wife to tell her to not make a fuss. His identification papers were still in HK and he could not have travelled to the mainland without them. That is, unless he was smuggled in.
Definitely interesting times for the two Chinas.
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