Is this a sign that China is becoming a nation with a legal system that can actually protect its citizens against oppressive government? Suing the Chinese government could have been a one way ticket to prison or worse in years past, but Reuters via Haaretz is reporting on a brave soul who thinks it’s time to try litigation to solve China’s smog problem:
A Chinese man in a smoggy northern city has become the first person in the country to sue the government for failing to curb air pollution, a state-run newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Li Guixin, a resident of Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province, has submitted his complaint to a district court, asking the Shijiazhuang Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau to “perform its duty to control air pollution according to the law”, the Yanzhao Metropolis Daily said.
He is also seeking compensation from the agency for residents for the choking pollution that has engulfed Shijiazhuang, and much of northern China, this winter.
“The reason that I’m proposing administrative compensation is to let every citizen see that amid this haze, we’re the real victims,” Li was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
It is unclear whether the court will accept Li’s lawsuit.
His lawyer, Wu Yufen, declined to comment, telling Reuters “this information is quite sensitive”. The court and the Shijiazhuang environmental protection bureau could not be reached for comment.
Li said he had spent money on face masks, an air purifier and a treadmill to get indoor exercise last December when the pollution was particularly severe…
[continues at Haaretz]