China's officials urged to swim in polluted rivers

BEIJING (AP) - Two local environmental protection officers in China have been openly challenged to swim in trash-strewn, heavily contaminated rivers for cash prizes in a sign of growing frustration among the Chinese public over widespread pollution.

Businessman Jin Zengmin posted on his microblog Saturday photos of a garbage-filled river in his eastern hometown of Rui'an city and dared the local environmental protection chief to swim in it for a cash prize of 200,000 yuan ($32,000).

On Tuesday, another challenge started to circulate online in which an unidentified netizen offered 300,000 yuan ($48,000) for the environmental protection chief in a nearby county to swim in polluted rivers there.

A Rui'an government official who would only give his surname, Chi, said the government welcomes public supervision.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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