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Air Quality Photo credit: leniners / Foter / CC BY-NC

Published on February 26th, 2014 | by Cynthia Shahan

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Chinese Citizen Sues Chinese Government For Continual Smog

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February 26th, 2014 by  

This is not the first time a citizen has tried to appeal for humanitarian rights by suing their governmental body. In my country of origin, activists even as young as Jamie Lynn Butler have done so. However, China is a governmental body that has not been challenged in this way. Things recently changed for China. The hope is that things will change in favor of humanitarian rights.

Photo credit: leniners / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: leniners / Foter / CC BY-NC

China’s governmental body has been issued a complaint by honorable citizen Li Guixin, a resident of Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province. He is the first person to sue the government for continual pollution in the country. Li Guixin demands compensation for the state failing to curb air pollution that affects the citizens of China in debilitating and dehumanizing ways. Every child and adult have the need to breathe and to breathe clean air.

Guixin city is in northern China and suffers the immense and suffocating smoggy pollution that results in suffering in many parts of China. Reuters reports:

Li Guixin, a resident of Shijiazhuang, capital of the northern province of Hebei, submitted his complaint to a district court asking the city’s Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau to “perform its duty to control air pollution according to the law”, the Yanzhao Metropolis Daily said.

He is also seeking compensation from the agency for residents for the choking pollution that has engulfed Shijiazhuang, and much of northern China, this winter.

“The reason that I’m proposing administrative compensation is to let every citizen see that amid this haze, we’re the real victims,” Li was quoted as saying by the newspaper.


This turn and Li Guixin ‘s courage makes a statement that the people of China are looking for rehabilitation. Time will tell whether the court will accept Li’s lawsuit. These matters are sensitive in any country, as legislation becomes a Shakespearean foil far too many times. Li’s lawyer, Wu Yufen, declined to comment, and it’s not yet clear if the court will even accept the lawsuit. But Li added a bit more himself:

“Besides the threat to our health, we’ve also suffered economic losses, and these losses should be borne by the government and the environmental departments because the government is the recipient of corporate taxes, it is a beneficiary,” he said.

Read related stories:

China Launches $16 Billion Rectification Of Beijing’s Pollution Crisis

China Putting $372 Billion Towards Reducing Pollution and Energy Usage

China’s EV Subsidies Have Been Extended, But Is That Enough?

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About the Author

is an Organic Farmer, Licensed Acupuncturist, Anthropologist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.



  • Chris Marshalk

    Good luck Li.

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