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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Green works: City becomes 'test case' for facing country's environmental challenges

China Daily
May 13, 2011

Losing a job at 52 would seem disastrous for any working-class man. But for Mao Baoxing, it might not be a big deal. Mao works at China's largest epoxy resin manufacturing plant in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, or the Wuxi Resin Factory of Bluestar New Chemical Materials Co Ltd, but while he used to be proud of working for such a large company he says he no longer is.

Over the past 50 years since the company was established in the city, industrial pollutants from the manufacturing of chemical products have been taking a heavy toll on the air and water quality in the region.

"All the local people know just how environmentally hazardous the factory is," Mao says. "Now that the government has realized this and asked it to relocate, I strongly support the decision, although that would very likely mean the loss of my job."

Mao's experience is just a tip of the iceberg of what is happening in Wuxi, a city which has championed itself as a new "test case" for solving the glaring environmental challenges faced by a fast developing China, by experimenting a new way of development that highlights sustainability and environmental responsibility. That is, of course, after harsh lessons from previous mistakes and disasters.


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