As Pollution Worsens in China, Solutions Succumb to Infighting | Culture Collapse Disorder |

Even as top officials admit the severity of China’s environmental woes, conflict within the government is one of the biggest obstacles to enacting stronger policies.


BEIJING — China’s state leadership transition has taken place this month against an ominous backdrop. More than 16,000 dead pigshave been found floating in rivers that provide drinking water to Shanghai. A haze akin to volcanic fumes cloaked the capital, causing convulsive coughing and obscuring the portrait of Mao Zedong on the gate to the Forbidden City.Two window cleaners ride past the 80th floor of a hotel in Beijing. Officials say vehicle emissions and coal-fired factories account for much of the city's air pollution.


So severe are China’s environmental woes, especially the noxious air, that top government officials have been forced to openly acknowledge them. Fu Ying, the spokeswoman for the National People’s Congress, said she checked for smog every morning after opening her curtains and kept at home face masks for her daughter and herself. Li Keqiang, the new prime minister, said the air pollution had made him... (Click title to continue)