According to CNN, the World Bank recently examined 20 of the most severely polluted cities in the world. Sixteen of these cities are located in China, and Linfen City, in Shanxi Province, was cited as the world's most polluted city.
Apple Daily reported that factories in Linfen continuously release waste gas and sewage. The whole city smells and is covered in smoke. The trees around the factories are all withered. The polluted water is like thick oil, and the polluted rivers have caused a higher incidence of cancer among citizens living in the area.
One environmental expert said, "If you have a grudge against someone, let this guy become a permanent citizen of Linfen! Why? For punishment!"
The problem of air pollution in China's cities remains serious. In 2005, 39.7 percent of the 522 cities surveyed were either moderately or seriously polluted.
Last year, environmental disputes and large-scale protests increased 30 percent compared to the previous year. Over 50,000 incidents were documented. Among these cases, 50.6 percent were about water pollution, and nearly 40 percent were related to air pollution.
Pan Yue, vice director of the State Environmental Protection Administration of China said, "Environmental problems have become a main factor affecting China's national security and social stability."
Zhang Lijun, another vice director of the Administration, said, "In some areas, corrupted officials protect local polluting industries to gain personal profits. Without clean officials, there will be no clean water."