China to increase transparency after environmental protests

More public involvement in decisions about large industrial projects.

BEIJING — A Chinese official says the government will require that future industrial projects include assessments of their risk to social stability, following several large protests around the country over pollution.

Minister for Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian said the government will increase transparency and public involvement in decisions regarding large projects with potential environmental impact.

Zhou said China is in a “sensitive period” as an increasingly educated and wealthy public rejects industrial activity that will cause pollution near their homes.
He said China is beginning to see a phenomenon called “not in my backyard.”

Pollution has become a major cause of unrest in China as members of the rising middle class become more outspoken against environmentally risky projects near them.