By Jean Cao Junchen
Three local governments in Jiangsu province have vehemently denied the existence of five alleged ‘cancer villages’.
The municipal governments said the alleged ‘cancer village’ are normal with regard to pollution levels, claiming the investigation was not based on facts and lacking scientific evidence. The cities claimed that the chemical plants or factories discharging contaminants had been closed.
Jiangsu has the highest GDP per capita of all Chinese provinces (Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai municipalities are higher), with a nominal GDP in 2011 of 4.80 trillion yuan. The province boasts an annual growth rate of 12.4 percent. With great industry come great pollution however, and given the damage environmentalism can do to a Chinese official’s career, these denials should be taken with a massive pinch of salt.