By Erik Crouch
Image via @HoriaVarlan
“I will swim in any part of the moat surrounding Shaoxing city,” says Mayor Qian Jianmin, potentially the soon-to-be recipient of a stomach pump and a good bath. The mayor’s announcement comes in response to several Weibo challenges over the past few weeks which attempted to call the bluff on local bureaucrats who insisted that pollution wasn’t a problem in their cities. China’s trash-clogged rivers have been getting a lot of well-deserved bad press since Deng Fei’s “Show me a dirty river” campaign flooded the Chinese internet with pollution pics over New Year.
South China Morning Post reports:
Qian Jianmin appears to be the first official willing to take up a challenge laid down last month by residents of several other cities of the coastal Zhejiang province who announced on a microblogging website that they would offer environmental officials as much as 300,000 yuan if they swam in polluted rivers. […]
Zhejiang governor Li Qiang was asked to comment on the issue on Thursday. Li admitted there was still long way to go “before people can swim in every part of the moat.”
No word yet if Qian will attempt to reap a cash reward for his pollution-defying swim, but when video of his aquatic trash-treading hits the internet (or his pollution-provoked pussying out), you can be sure we’ll have it here.