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Infographic – Background on the Qidong Protest

An infographic circulating on Chinese social media provides some background information on the planned oceanic wastewater pipeline and a compelling call-to-action for local residents in Qidong, a small city north of Shanghai. Fierce mass protest forced local government to abandon the project on July 28, the second successful mass NIMBY protest in China in a month. Tea Leaf Nation translates some salient portions of the infographic here.

The infographic begins:

July 1, 2012. You came to know Sichuan’s Shifang.  Lately you should have often heard the name, Qidong. If you haven’t, let me introduce you to Qidong. If the Yangtze River is a dragon, then the dragon’s tongue is Chongming Island, the bottom of its mouth is Shanghai and the top of its mouth is Qidong [as clearly illustrated in the first picture].  Qidong is near the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

Here, education, construction and electrical tools are all prominent local industries, but the seafood from Luisi (吕四) [on the north seacoast of Qidong according to the graphic] is famous both nationally and internationally. Luisi Fishing Port’s annual production of fresh seafood exceeds 200 million kilograms, making it the world’s 9th largest and one of the four largest fishing ports in China.

Now, tens of thousands of people who work in the fishing industry at the Luisi fishing port, as well as the millions of Qidong residents, are facing a major catastrophe: A wastewater pipeline with a capacity of 150,000 tons per day is being built near the Luisi fishing grounds.  The source of the waste is the largest Japanese investment in China, Oji Paper Group, which investment has been rejected by other local governments in China but accepted by the Nantong City government [where Qidong is located]. 

We mention this project because it’s not a chimney pointing to the sky but a pipeline that extends right into the sea. The key point is that the pipeline will pump huge amounts of wastewater daily into the waters near Luisi’s fishing grounds.  The water cycle closely impacts all of us, not to mention Luisi’s seafood has been welcomed across the country and abroad for so long.  The water quality in the waters around Nantong is already bad, now it is on the verge of becoming dangerously bad.  [The dark purple colored areas in Picture 3 show severely polluted areas of the ocean near Nantong City]

The infographic goes on to outline some viewpoints of a former Nantong City official [voiced against the Oji project]:

1. From a global perspective, it’s an example of a developed country transferring a polluting project to a developing country.

2. Japan’s largest investment project in China sacrifices China’s long-term economic and basic interests for political points and personal interest.

3. The project is completely in conflict with The People’s Republic of China’s environmental protection laws that stipulate a ban on building pollutant outlets in important fishing grounds.

The numerous graphics following the oceanic pollutant map show protest posters calling for Qidong residents to take action against the project and includes an image of Japanese protesters protesting the re-opening of the Fukushima No.2 nuclear power plant as well as a picture of a protest by Qidong residents on June 9, 2012.  The last images, showing alternating visions of Qidong’s future, are self-explanatory.

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