A popular Chinese documentary film, choking major cities was scrubbed from websites even as President Xi Jinping pledged to protect the environment.
Major Chinese websites that post the film “Under the Dome” which was viewed by more than 100 people million a week of its release, was removed including Youku.com. The disappearance of this film coincides with the annual meeting of the legislature where Xi made his pledge at the National People’s Congress.
“We are going to punish, with an iron hand, any violators who destroy ecology or environment, with no exceptions”, Xi said to NPC deputies – the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Former China Central Television reporter Chai Jing produced and financed the film after she became concerned about the health impact cause by the pollution when her infant daughter needed the surgery to remove a benign tumor. Environment minister Chen Jining compared the film to Rachel Carson’s 1962 “Silent Spring,” that takes on the environmental damage wrought by the U.S. Chemical industry that spurred a nationwide ban on the use of DDT in agriculture.
People who are familiar with the matter cannot found the full-length video on the streaming sites where it once appeared such as Youku.com, sohu.com and qq.com. The film has been pulled out from the websites by the government orders – the Wall Street Journal reported earlier.
Calls made to the spokesman’s office of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television weren’t answered at all. A person who wouldn’t give her name on Youku.com’s customer hotline said that the video wasn’t available on its service.
Chen was not asked about the documentary by reporters called on to raise questions, – at a press conference held today as part of the NPC sessions and scheduled before the video disappear. Chen echoed Xi’s pledge, saying China will use “tough measures” to fight smog. Chen also added that the government would provide more transparency for its effort to protect the environment.
Earlier this week, Chai received a text message from the minister to express his gratitude as she “raised public attention on the environment,” – the official Xinhua News Agency.
China aims to cut sulfur dioxide emission by 3 percent, nitrogen oxide by 5 percent and ammonia nitrogen by 2 percent in 2015 from a year earlier.
Residents of cities such as Beijing and Sanghai regularly wearing masks to protect against the toxins. According to a report by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, ninety percent of the 161 cities whose air qualities was monitored in 2014 failed to meet official standards.
The key reason the country has been slow to produce clean energy was because of the dominance of PetroChina Co., the biggest oil and natural gas producer and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia’s biggest refiner.