Protect environment with rule of law

Updated: 2014-10-08 15:11

By Li Yang(

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Were it not for the media’s involvement, the pollution in Tengri in Inner Mongolia would have remained a secret for a long time. How many such desert pollution cases remain unexposed is unknown, according to an article in the Beijing News. Excerpts:

The Inner Mongolia government held urgent meeting on Oct 6 to implement President Xi Jinping’s written instructions on Tengri pollution. All local governments should say no to economy growth at the cost of human life and environmental pollution, the conference statement said.

After the Tengri industrial park;s pollution was exposed in early Sept, local authorities’ roller-coaster responses did not bring about any concrete actions until the state leader showed his discontent.

“Huge environmental carrying capacity” is a catchword in many governments’ investment-invitation brochures from the West China. Yet, the Tengri pollution incident shows it is wrong to label depopulated desert zone as places that the factories can carelessly discharge their wastes.

The Inner Mongolia government needs to transform its statement to actions. The higher authorities must watch over the clean-up efforts, because many such pretentious environmental modification projects, expensive and long, are carried out with poor supervision.

Such an environmental campaign starting from top state leaders is rare. It is unrealistic to always rely on state leaders to urge local authorities to tackle the pollution cases.

The Environmental Protection Law and the relevant law enforcement and supervisory systems have largely remained idle when China tries its best to develop economy.

Hopefully, President Xi Jinping can implement the rule of law in China’s environmental protection. The society and individual citizens deserve the legal channels to sue polluters and irresponsible governments.