Environmental degradation is one of China's most serious issues and a very sensitive one too, with thousands of protests every year sparked by concern about pollution, particularly from factories.
Polluting plants like chemical factories and oil refineries are supposed to undergo strict environmental impact assessments before being approved, but the anti-corruption watchdog said the environment ministry was not doing its job properly.
"Some leaders and officials and their relatives poke their fingers into environmental assessment approvals against the rules, or set up companies to contract for environmental assessments to seek profit," the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said after an inspection of the ministry.
Money can change hands in exchange for such approvals, and money for environmental projects was also siphoned away by corrupt officials, the regulator said.
In Alberta, the energy sector has an outsized influence on environmental regulation and enforcement. Federally we have Stephen Harper gutting both science and environmental protections on a wholesale scale to clear the path for the energy sector. In the result the environmental assessment process in our country has become what the Chinese would call "corrupt." Okay, in fairness Harperland isn't China. After all, they're a Communist dictatorship. By contrast, we're... oh, who the hell knows?