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Articles by Dongli Zhang

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“Watch out.” That’s what one student leader, Hu Kunzhu, told us in a sweltering university dining hall in Xi’an this August.

We were in this ancient capital of China for the College Environmental Groups Forum, which brought together students from more than 60 universities across the country. These included representatives from the far-flung wealthy provinces of the east coast and the relatively impoverished desert west, together for the first-ever national conference of the country’s quickly emerging — and much needed — student environmental movement.

Beijing’s new look.

Photo: © Greenpeace / Natalie Behring

A moment after Hu had issued his warning, he continued with a smile: “Because our goal is to outpace environmentalists in the U.S.”

Coverage of China’s environmental problems by international media has been extensive in recent years. Less widely reported is the valiant work being done quietly across China by as many as 5,000 grassroots environmental organizations that have sprung up over the last decade to clean rivers, plant tr... Read more