The 1950s

 

V

1958 - 1961: Large-scale deforestation due to cultivation of wooded areas and firewood demand (backyard furnaces).

 

The 1960s

 

V

1960: Increasing use of tube wells for irrigation in Northern China will lead to groundwater depletion in the 1990s.

 

The 1970s

 

V

1970 - 1980: Based on a 50-year forest inventory, researchers find that between 1970 and 1980 Chinese forest expanded significantly.

 

V

1976, July: Massive earthquake (7.8 Richter scale) devastates the city of Tangshan (Hebei Province). At least 270,000 people die.

 

The 1980s

 

V

1989: Revision of the environmental legislation from 1979.

 

The 1990s

 

V

1993: Production of the pesticide DDT is officially stopped (but illegally used for several subsequent years).

 

V

1993: Widespread concerns among environmentalists about the Three Gorges Dam project.

 

V

1995, October: Earthquake in Yunnan (6.5 at Richter scale). 50 people die and 6,000 are injured. 170,000 people homless.

 

V

1997, October: Certain environmental offenses are treated as crime and are included in the criminal code of China.

 

V

1998: WHO reports that of the ten most polluted cities in the world, seven can be found in China.

 

V

1998: Worst flooding in years - 230 million people affected and 3,656 dead.

 

V

1998, April: One of the most devastating sandstorm in decades is raging in Beijing for two days, blocking sunlight.

 

The 2000s

 

V

2005, November: Water supply of Harbin city is cut off after high concentration of benzene in Songhua river.

 

V

2005, November: Attempts by regional government officials to cover up the water pollution catastrophe in Harbin.

 

V

2005, November: Major pollution of Songhua river after explosion of petrochemical plant in Jilin city (Jilin Province).

 

V

2006, June: China surpasses the United States in carbon dioxide emissions due to fossil fuel use and cement production.

 

V

2007, October: Four million people have to be resettled within the next 10 to 15 years in the Three-Gorges Dam area.

 

V

2008, May: Earthquake strikes Sichuan province: Death toll reaches 20,000.

 

V

2008, May: Death toll of May 12 earthquake rises to 40,075.

 

V

2008, June: Death toll of May 12 earthquake rises to 69,016, with more than 18,000 people still missing.

 

V

2009, August: China surpasses the United States as the world's largest producer of household garbage.

 

V

2010, April: Earthquake of magnitude 7.1 on Richter scale hits southern Qinghai province.

Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Gerhard K. Heilig. All rights reserved.

china-profile.com - 30 Sept. 2012