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Circular economy must not turn public funds into profit for cheats

China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-04 07:33


AN INDUSTRIAL PARK SPECIALIZING in processing renewable resources in Yulin, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, reportedly uses untreated slag to make bricks. Beijing News comments:

The residues of nickel, sulfur, heavy metal and other noxious components in the slag must be removed before it is reused according to the relevant regulations. But the industrial park, which enjoys large government subsidies as a model of the circular economy, omits this compulsory procedure aimed at ensuring such bricks are not hazardous in order to save money.

No wonder many local residents, who complain about the water, air and earth pollution caused by the industrial park, claim that the project is a sham whose purpose is to swindle money from the public purse.

As media reports expose, it does not take any professional apparatus or knowledge to see how serious the pollution caused by the industrial park is. The pungent smell, dusty air, thick black waste water and dyed earth surrounding the industrial park all point to the ugly irony that a supposedly environmentally friendly project is anything but that.

So the questions that need answering are why did the local environmental inspectors remain silent when they could see what was happening, and did the local government fulfill its obligation to ensure the subsidies were being used appropriately, or, as many locals believe, did some local officials pocket kickbacks from the industrial park owner to turn a blind eye to the dirty business. Were it not for the reports by media outlets from other places, the people's complaints would not have been heeded.

In July last year, a similar national-level circular economy model zone in Lingwu, the Ningxia Hui autonomous

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