Mainland environmental problems threaten social stability, the director of the State Environmental Protection Administration, Zhou Shengxian, said on announcing a five-year clean-up program, the South China Morning Post reported. "The number of mass environmental incidents has soared and the issue of pollution has become a blasting fuse hampering social stability," he said. A probing environmental impact scheme will soon be underway in Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, and the cities of Dalian and Wuhan. Henry Debranche, managing director of Beijing environmental consultancy Sinosphere, expressed doubts to the Wall Street Journal: "The government is making a strong statement. But China is thinking more about [economic] development issues than environmental ones."