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-Oscar Wilde

ENFORCING ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS IN SW CHINA

The environmental history of China during the 1990s and early 2000s has not been a picture of responsible industry. While in the books China¡¯s environmental laws are strong, in practice they are frequently ignored. Every year there are cases of human-caused ecological disasters.
In the far southeastern part of Sichuan province, for example, mining more magnesium has taken its toll on local communities and the environment. Runoff from the regions hundreds of mining projects has contaminated the water with heavy metals and other mining toxins, killing crops and putting the health of local people at risk.

Thanks to: china-environmental-news.blogspot.com for their article on Sichuan's situation.

In another example from September 2008, Yangzonghai Lake in neighboring Yunnan province was found to contain high levels of arsenic in the water. Several companies bordering the lake were found to be responsible, and were fined accordingly. Despite such measures, the continuing occurrence of such cases is an obvious sign that noncompliance is the primary issue in rural environmental protection.
In order to improve rates of compliance, prevent ecological disasters, and protect people¡¯s health, Yuxi, a city in Yunnan, has created a specialized law enforcement group tasked with tackling environmental law enforcement in Yunnan province. For Yunnan, China¡¯s most biologically and geographically diverse province, the creation of the task group is an investment in the province¡¯s natural resources.

Thanks to: www.greenlaw.org.cn for linking to environmental news.

However, in the past such local law enforcement agencies have had similar responsibilities and nonetheless failed to enforce environmental laws. Often such local agencies must have the approval of local officials to carry out investigations, and officials in the past have been more than willing to ignore environmental concerns in favor of economic growth and local favoritism. The test will be to see whether this new agency is given a new degree of independence to carry out its charge.
If the issues of favoritism, bribery, and other forms of corruption do not allow the agency to be effective, a national enforcement body with complete independence may be the only real solution.
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By Bryan G. Davis
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China Law 0 Comment January 19, 2009, 10:51 am

CHINA BLACKLISTS 17 MORE WEB SITES IN PORN CRACKDOWN

BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- China has named and shamed another17 Web sites as part of a monthlong drive to stamp out online porn.

The Web sites were accused of providing obscene content and of being slow to delete erotic materials after the campaign was launched on Jan. 5 by the State Council's Information Office, Public Security and Culture ministries and four other government agencies.

The sites, including www.xiaonei.com, www. 9you.com, were urged to immediately delete obscene or erotic information and were threatened with closure if they ignore the warning made Tuesday.

Public distribution of pornography is illegal in China. Previously, the country had blacklisted 33 Web sites, including search engine Google and Baidu and MSN China. Ninety-one other Websites have been shut down.

China's Internet users hit 298 million in 2008, overtaking the United States as the nation with the world's largest online population, according to latest figures released by the China Internet Network Information Center.

Source: www.chinaview.cn
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China News 1 Comment January 14, 2009, 5:04 pm

CHINA REVISES PATENT LAW TO ENCOURAGE INNOVATION

BEIJING, Dec. 27, 2008 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature on Saturday approved the revision of the Patent Law to allow inventors to apply for foreign patents before domestic ones for their inventions.

The revised law, which takes effect on Oct. 1, 2009, was adopted with 154 votes and four abstentions at the closing meeting of the sixth session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

The change is aimed at encouraging innovation and improving China's "international competitiveness", Chen Guangjun, a senior official with the NPC's Education, Science, Culture and Health Committee, said at a press conference after the legislative session.

Previously, the Patent Law stipulated that people, whose inventions were completed in China, must apply for domestic patents first before applying for a foreign one.

The new amendment also says Chinese inventors must first go through government scrutiny before applying for foreign patents to find out if such innovations should be made national secrets.

Inventions which have not undergone security checks will not be granted Chinese patents, according to the law.

The amendment applies to all inventions completed in China.

The Patent Law, which was enacted 1985, has had two major revisions in the past.

Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com
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China Business 0 Comment January 5, 2009, 4:31 pm