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China’s red and smelly river

Despite the massive toxic spill that made the world’s press last year in Heilongjiang province that saw the city of Harbin reduced to bottled water and several downstream Russian Far East threatened something similar has happened again.

After the Harbin spill there was much hand wronging in the offices of the environmental protection agency in Beijing and some sackings after local officials tried to cover up and delay news on the spill. ‘Never again’ was the cry.

Well now we discover that a half-mile section of China’s Yellow River turned “red and smelly” after an unknown discharge was poured into it from a sewage pipe, according to the state media said.

This time the incident was in Lanzhou, a city of 2 million people in western Gansu province. Again the city was forced to shut down its water system.

We await some blame and see who will fall on their sword this time round.

Paul French, China Editor

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