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China's 2nd largest lake at risk of environmental decay
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-01-27 17:12

On the shores of Hunan Province's Dongting Lake -- the second largest freshwater lake in China -- lies the village of Qingshanyuan. As all too commonly found in rapidly developing China, industrial plants surround the lake discharging wastewater and emitting toxic gases into the air, regardless of the environmental consequences.

In 2000, the inhabitants of Qingshanyuan collectively set up a cage aquaculture business on the lake, despite the threat posed by neighboring paper mills and chemical fertilizer plants to the success of their scheme.

Two years after they started out on their 'fish farm' enterprise, the villagers' business began to feel the impacts of the lake's pollution. In 2002, the villagers' entire stock of fish died from water poisoning -- more died in 2003.

Reflecting on the disastrous experience, the village's Communist Party chief Tang Daiqin remarked, "We had invested a lot into our business -- it was terrible."


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