• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 8:10am
PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 February, 2013, 12:59pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 February, 2013, 8:01am

Chinese official offered huge reward... if he can swim in polluted river


Chris Luo is a Beijing native. He lived in Indiana, U.S. for four years before moving to Hong Kong to study journalism at Hong Kong Baptist University. He joined SCMP in 2012 as a website producer.

A Zhejiang entrepreneur is offering a 200,000 yuan reward to a senior official if he swims in a polluted river for 20 minutes, as part of an attempt to draw attention to the environmental plight in China's eastern province.

Jin Zengmin, chief executive of a Hangzhou eyeglasses retailer, announced the reward on China’s Twitter-like social website on Saturday.

“If the environmental protection bureau chief dares to swim in [Ruian's] river for 20 minutes, I will pay [him] 200,000 yuan [HK$246,000],” Jin wrote on Sina Weibo.

In three photos Jin posted, a river in small-town Ruian is seen entirely blocked by floating rubbish. Jin blamed a rubber overshoe factory for dumping industrial waste into the river.

This river was where villagers used to wash vegetables and clothes in his childhood, Jin told Chinanews.com.

Asked for comment, Ruian’s environmental protection bureau chief, Bao Zhenmin, acknowledged the river was polluted, the report said. But he said the rubbish is from people, and not factories. 

“Overpopulation of this region is the main reason behind the pollution…[The population] has largely exceeded the local environment’s capacity,” Bao told Chinanews.com.

According to Bao, the Xianjiang area where the river flows has 44,000 residents, but the migrant population amounts to 80,000 alone. Zhejiang province and its many factories draw hundreds of thousands of migrants from across the country every year.

Bao also told Chinanews.com that a complete water recycling system will be in place within three years. The plan includes a trash recycling site and disposal water treatment plant.

On Sunday, a Shandong environmental protection bureau announced a 100,000 yuan reward for information about an underground pollution case.


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This article is now closed to comments

I can't help but wonder exactly how much of the industrial pollution and industrial waste is coming from factories that are catering to exports to the US/worldwide exports. Keeping manufacturing prices low comes at a great cost when its destroying the country. While the Chinese people are responsible for their messes, its our money telling them to keep it up.
twitter-like website ...oh ..**** ...it called Sina Weibo or Tencent Weibo ?
Much of the cheap manufacturing especially textiles is now moving to Cambodia and Bangladesh. There is little that can be done unless consumers prefer higher prices with the resulting problems that will occur.

Agree. I suggest someone do a collective IQ test on the Chinese people (since 1979)...
Paul Mitchell
At some point, the responsibility needs to be placed firmly in the hands of all Chinese people. Can blame the parents all you want, but the kids still need to clean their rooms. Clean up after yourselves a bit... jesus.
yeah, government officials need this kind of encouragements...
now you have the problem and the responsible government officials CONNECTED...good move..


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