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Following-up reports on China's air pollution.
Beijing's Environment Monitoring Center predicted that
on January 16, a cold front will help disperse air pollutants.
Most city areas will have "good" air quality, and
in some areas, it even can be classified as "excellent".
So what happened in reality? Let's look at our report.
Beijing resident, Ms. Wang, says that on 16th January,
there was sun and no wind. But the sky was still hazy!
Ms. Wang (Beijing resident):
"Today the weather is getting slightly better.
In the last few days, smog was particularly severe.
Today is sunny. Ordinarily,
we should have a clear line of sight.
But it's still foggy now, visibility is only within 200 meters!"
Gong Shengli, an expert on China issues, remarks that
this is the thickest smog over the past 60 years.
Snowing on 15th January helped filter out air pollutants,
he says, otherwise, the situation would continue.
Gong Shengli (Expert on China issues):"The growth in China's
previous 30 years was based on industrial pollution emissions.
Such as exploitation of oil and minerals,
including gold mining.
This had caused large-scale environment pollution in the past."
German newspaper The Bild published a report, titled,
"Smog-Alarm in Peking, China suffocated in its success?"
The article states, China wants to grow, grow, grow.
Environmental protection over there is deemed as a barrier.
The smog is the flip side of China's rapid rise to
a global economic power.
Each day new factories are opening that consume more energy.
Every week in China someone opens a new coal plant.
Gong Shengli:"North China experienced hazy weather,
while south China suffers from acidic pollutants.
It may cause trees leaves to wither away.
Guangdong suffers from the most severe acid rain.
The long-term effect of acid rain would make it
an unsuitable living place.
The resulted environmental damage may lead to disasters
that could not be restored even in 100 years."
Gong Shengli adds that the damage caused by
the Chinese Communist Party(CCP) rule is not limited to the natural environment.
China's social and cultural environment was not immune, too.
CCP Vice Premier Li Keqiang attended a meeting on Jan.15.
He claimed to take actions on air pollution control.
Dai Qing (Political & social observers):
"Such as Beijing's water shortage. Can you shut down 20 golf courses to plant trees on that land?
In reality, no one dares to offend those wealthy and
I think if a premier has no such authority to do it,
how can you govern the country?!"
The latest issue of China Economic Weekly reported that
less than 50% of domestic drinking water meets the standard.
A former expert at Chinese Center for Disease Control &
Prevention, with over 30 years water treatment experience,
said that China's fresh water has become more scarce.
Water shortage and groundwater over-exploitation
affects the north.
Water pollution has resulted in excessive nitrates in waters.
In the south, lakes and rivers are enclosed to be used as
It's common that the fodder contains excess levels of
nitrogen and phosphorus.
Dai Qing:"It's impossible to develop further,
it's unsustainable, when China's coal reserves are exhausted and all trees cut down.
In the north are water shortages,
while in the south is water pollution.
There's no way to sustain the growth, which has lost
conditions to be the low-cost labor factories in the world.
The country's natural resources have all been destroyed.
I hold this view and have called for it for 20 years,
but no one would listen to it ..."
When hazy weather in China's central and
eastern areas began to disperse,
Shanghai's air quality index (AQI) suddenly
soared on Jan. 16.
The official data showed that on 11 a.m.,
the AQI level has reached 216, severely polluted.
The PM2.5 level exceeded 248 micrograms per cubic meter.
Zhang Junfeng, China's civil water expert, comments.
Officials in China have only very superficial understanding
of environmental damage and consequences. They are just wrestling with nature.