Environment

Environment

Rare pink dolphin makes comeback as Covid-19 quiets Hong Kong waters
Border restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic have apparently paved the way for a comeback of a rare creature in Hong Kong waters, the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, also known as Chinese white dolphin or pink dolphin. Seas off southern Lantau Island have been quieter than usual with fewer high-speed ferries crossing the marine mammals’ natural habitat. Researchers say that sightings of the dolphins are up by as much as 30% and the animals they see appear to be less “stressed”
China Trends: WeChat ban clouds iPhone use in China and closed mines continue to pollute
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about. WeChat or iPhone?  After US President Donald Trump ordered fresh restrictions on the Chinese messaging super-app WeChat on Friday, many in China wondered whether it meant they would have to part ways with Apple. Trump used the power of executive orders to block all US transactions related to WeChat, beginning 45 days later. The order would bar Apple from listing WeChat in its App Store. With US-China relations in their worst state since the two countries restored diplomatic relations in the 70s, technology companies tha
China buys more from Australia despite rising tension
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 7%: The increase in Chinese imports from Australia in June.  China is importing more goods from Australia despite rising diplomatic tensions between the countries. The rise in Chinese import of Australian materials crucial for China’s infrastructure projects made up for drops in other products Australia exports to China. In May, Beijing slapped tariffs on Australian barley and suspended imports of Australian beef from four producers. The tariffs came after Australia called for an independent probe into the origin of the coronavirus in April, leading some to speculat
Are China’s dams causing droughts in its neighbors?
Chinese dams aren’t the problem causing droughts for downstream nations along the Mekong River – they are part of the solution – says a Chinese study released in July. The study is an attempt to pour water on claims by a rival US-backed investigation that blamed dams in China for water shortages suffered by Southeast Asian countries on the river’s lower reaches. The Chinese study, a collaboration between Tsinghua University and China’s Institute of Water Resources, argues that the dams help alleviate the problem by storing water from the wet season and releasing it in the dry season. The claim has sparked an academic discussion about the root cause of shortages so severe that Vietnam declare
Rare sighting of sea lion on China’s coast
A rare sighting of a Steller sea lion was reported at Dandong port on the coast of China’s northeastern province of Liaoning on July 13, 2020. The animals are usually more active in the northern Pacific Ocean, but several have recently been seen in China. Listed as “near threatened” by conservation groups, the creatures are the largest species in the sea lion family.  
China Trends: a ban on imported garbage and an air conditioning controversy
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about. No more imported waste The Chinese government said it would try to eliminate all garbage imports by the end of 2020, a decision that would mean 2.74 million tons of solid waste would need to find a new home.  In early-2018, China announced it would stop importing certain grades of solid waste that is typically recycled. The government announcement on June 2 would extend that ban to practically all forms of garbage from abroad. The US, Australia and the European Union are among the top regions that export their waste to
Are China’s dams to blame for droughts in Southeast Asia?
Fishermen in northeast Thailand have seen catches in the Mekong River plunge, while some farmers in Vietnam and Cambodia are leaving for jobs in cities as harvests of rice and other crops shrink. The common thread is erratic water levels along Asia’s third-longest waterway. Water flows along the 2,700-mile Mekong shift naturally between monsoon and dry seasons, but non-government groups say the 11 hydroelectric dams on China’s portion of the river – five of which started operating in the past three years – have disrupted seasonal rhythms. This threatens food security for the more than 60 million people in the lower Mekong that rely on the river for a livelihood. “Naturally, Mekong water ris
When Tigers roamed the concrete jungle of Hong Kong
Should you ever encounter a tiger in Hong Kong, run downhill. The big cat’s front legs are shorter than its hind limbs, its descent will be awkward and give you the edge as you escape. But since the last sightings of the South China tiger in Hong Kong were in the 1970s, that’s unlikely to be necessary. Villagers minding livestock or cutting grass on hillsides, however, would likely have grown up heeding that advice passed down from older generations. Author and graphic designer John Saeki learned about this from a friend whose mother is an elderly villager in Hong Kong’s northeastern New Territories. His friend’s mother had once seen a partially devoured calf, presumably the result of a tige