The Chinese expression ‘when the Yellow River flows clear’ is the equivalent of the English saying ‘when pigs fly’: i.e. it’s never going to happen.
Well, the chances of the Yellow River flowing anything close to clear got even less likely last week when news emerged of an oil spill from a PetroChina-owned pipeline. The accident occurred in one of the Yellow River’s major tributaries, the Wei, in Shaanxi province.
The pipeline has since been shut off and an emergency clean-up has been launched.
Nevertheless China’s first environmental disaster of 2010 threatens the water supply of hundreds of thousands of people, reports Xinhua.
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