Environmental laws need stricter enforcement and the authority to apply those laws needs to be widened to include other relevant government departments if China is to avoid a repeat of the Songhua River oil spill, according to an academic at the China University of Political Science and Law.
Economic liberalization argues the professor, who pulls few punches in a commentary published by state media, has delivered material gains such as TVs, cars and housing at the expense of public services, including environmental protection. Insufficient supply of the latter, he says, “has triggered people's resentment” and now threatens the credibility of the government.
“The government is expected to do something in this regard but, to our regret, relevant government departments have actually done little. Despite the great losses resulting from last year's pollution of the Songhua River, no one has been made to pay,” he adds.
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