Greenpeace and the growth of environmentalism in China – Part 1/3

March 8, 2012

The list of Chinese democracy activists that have been arrested is not long considering there are more than 1.3 billion people in China. Wiki lists 30.

I studied the list of Chinese dissidents and saw that none was executed although there were several alleged to have committed treason and revealing state secrets: Bao Tong (1989), Shi Tao (2004), Wang Bingzhang (2002), and Wei Jingsheng (1979).

Unless I missed something, no dissidents was in jail at this time and a few had been kicked out of the country. Wei Jingsheng, an electrician accused of passing military secrets, was deported to the US in 1997 after spending some time in prison.

If found guilty of these crimes in the United States, the result may have led to a death sentence or life in prison. When I checked the list of people convicted of treason in the US, I saw that 10 have been executed. The United Kingdom had a longer list of executions for treason, while China’s list has only three names on it, which were Zhou Fohyai (executed 1948), Chen Gongbo (executed 1946), and Wang Jingwei (executed 1944).

However, when it comes to environmental activists, such as members of Greenpeace being detained in China, the list is short, while in the West the list of environmental activists being arrested is long.

In 2007, six Greenpeace protesters were arrested for breaking into the Kingsnorth power station in southeast England.

June 2008, two Greenpeace activists were arrested in Japan for exposing a whale meat scandal involving the government sponsored whaling program.

May 2010, seven Greenpeace activists were arrested in Port Fourchon, Louisiana in an anti-drilling protest.

In May 2011, six Greenpeace campaigners were arrested in Durban, South Africa.

June 2011, eighteen Greenpeace activists were arrested after climbing aboard an oil rig off Greenland’s coast to protest deepwater drilling in the Arctic.

August 2011, Daryl Hannah and 70 other environmental activists arrested at a Tar Sands Pipeline protest outside the White House in Washington D.C.

In November 2011, three Greenpeace activists were arrested in South Africa over coal power plant protests.

However, in China in 2006, Greenpeace East Asia was the only NGO to be consulted on an early draft of a renewable energy law by China’s National People’s Congress. In fact, before Greenpeace opened offices in Guangzhou and Beijing in 2002, activists from the Hong Kong office ran several campaigns on the Chinese Mainland and have even been interviewed on CCTV.

In addition, Greenpeace activists have recently gone undercover in China to catch industrial polluters, and it appears that this operation may have had the blessing and support of the CCP’s Central Committee.

Continued March 09, 2012 in Greenpeace and the growth of environmentalism in China – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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