China environment official targets “special interests”

Officials beholden to polluting industries are subverting efforts to clean up China's foul air and water, Pan Yue, a top Chinese environmental official has said, flagging a fresh battle to enforce environmental rules.
Pan Yue, outspoken deputy director at the State Environmental Protection Administration, told the Southern Weekend newspaper that his bureau’s efforts to halt polluters were running up against "special interests" protected by officials eager to promote strong growth.
"The main reason behind the continued deterioration of the environment is the merging of special interests and a mistaken view of what counts as political achievement," he told the weekly paper, which appeared late last Thursday.
"The crazy expansion of high-polluting, high-energy industries has spawned this merging of special interests," he said. "Protected by local governments, some businesses treat the natural resources that belong to all people as their own private property."

photo by PMorgan