Despite new government regulations, China, for decades the dumping ground for the world’s electronic waste, still struggles to treat and process millions of tonnes of e-waste, prompting health and environmental concerns.
Rapid economic growth in China’s coastal regions has resulted in serious levels of ocean pollution, damaging marine life and posing a threat to humans. As much as half of China’s offshore areas are considered polluted.
In China, where a growing demand for organ transplants coupled with a dramatic shortage of donors has fuelled a rampant black market trade, selling your organs for cash is a mouse click away.
Long considered a sign of weakness or a bourgeois indulgence, psychiatry is slowly entering the mainstream here, with a growing number of Chinese willing to talk through their problems with a therapist.
Despite deep historic tensions between the two Asian powers, a surge of sympathy has emerged among Chinese toward victims of last week’s earthquake and resulting tsunami in northern Japan, which has left an estimated 10,000 dead or missing.
Despite a greater government effort to monitor food safety in the wake of high profile contamination incidents – including the 2008 melamine milk poisoning scandal that killed six infants and made 300,000 ill – the majority of Chinese still feel insecure about the food they eat.
At Mr. Ma’s fruit and vegetable shop, located in a historic hutong alleyway a few blocks from the Lama Temple, the impact of China’s growing inflation is evident. In recent months, the prices of Mr. Ma’s products have soared. Eggs have gone from RMB 7 (6.5 RMB to a dollar) to RMB 10 per kilogram. Tomatoes have almost doubled. Cabbage has tripled.
While new research indicates that China’s overall suicide rate has been in decline for the last two decades, some segments of the population – including urban males and the elderly – are increasingly likely to take their own lives, the result of breakneck social change in the world’s most populous country.
Five years ago China pledged to ban smoking in all indoor public places by January of this year. That promise remains unfulfilled and is today symbolic of the lack of progress made in the fight against tobacco use in China, where up to a million people die of smoking-related complications each year.
A growing number of reports in China’s state media have thrust the issue of child abuse into the national spotlight. Many young parents and teachers today have shifting attitudes about corporal punishment, but incidents of abuse are being reported across the country. Affected children are virtually unprotected under the law.
In China, a country with a history of famine and where rural dwellers still use the greeting "have you eaten?", food is close to sacred. Feeding the country’s massive population remains one of the biggest threats to future economic growth and social stability, experts warn.
Authorities in remote Xinjiang province rescued a group of mentally ill men last month. The men had been sold by a shelter operator and forced to work in a factory. The rescue shone a light on the darkest side of China’s rapid economic growth – slavery.
Authorities in China are lauding a sweeping crackdown on prostitution across the country in recent months. But the sex trade continues to thrive in this booming nation, while services and support for women working in the industry remain inadequate, experts say.
While China faces grave water shortages, researchers at institutions across the country are working on new water- saving and desalination technologies that they hope can alleviate the crisis in the crucial years to come.
Researchers in China, the world’s leading provider of wind turbines and solar panels, are working toward making renewable energy cheaper, more efficient and a bigger part of the country’s power grid.