To show that he had cleaned up a once polluted local river, a mayor of one Henan city put his own body and health on the line, volunteering to be the first one to take the plunge.
The narrow river which runs through the city of Yongcheng was deemed last July to be too polluted for residents to swim in, but eco-conscious mayor Li Zhonghua quickly made it his own personal mission to purify the waterway. On Tuesday, he declared mission accomplished with a well-photographed morning swim along with six other local officials.
On Weibo, Li was cheered by one of his colleagues for turning what was once a “filthy ditch” into a “clean river.” Not all heroes wear capes.
This sort of publicity stunt is nothing new in China. Back in 2013, an entrepreneur in Zhejiang who was fed up with local government inaction offered 200,000 yuan to any local official who would take a swim in a nearby polluted river for 20 minutes. The next year, managers of a shoe company in Wenzhou went for a swim in a river to “prove” that their business had not contaminated the water.
For his own sake, we just hope that Li doesn’t promise to make the water clean enough to drink.
[Images via NetEase]
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