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China Pollution Crisis: Three out of 74 Cities Met Air Quality Standards

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China’s pollution report

The Pollution Report 2013 was released by China Ministry of Environmental Protection on June 4. According to the report, only 3 out of 74 Chinese cities measured met new air quality standards. Among the 10 worst cities for air quality, seven of them are located in Hebei Province.
June 5 is World Environment Day. The Chinese authorities released their report, indicating that last year, only Haikou, Zhoushan and Lhasa met air quality standards. The report surveyed a total of 74 cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, cities in Hebei, the Yangtze and Pearl River Deltas. Smog days were averaged 35.9 days last year, which is an 18.3 day increase from last year. This is the most severe occurrence since 1961.
On January 10, international NGO Greenpeace released it’s rankings for the air quality of 74 Chinese cities in 2013. This was based on average annual particle pollution concentrations, or PM2.5.
The Greenpeace rankings showed the Yangtze River Delta region was the hardest hit area. Western provinces showed emerging issues in air pollution.
In the monitoring program Ambient Air Quality Standards, 92% of cities failed to meet the state standard of PM2.5. Thirty two cities had twice the limit of the PM2.5. The top 10 worst air cities had three times the minimum level of PM 2.5. Seven of these cities are located in Hebei.
In particular, Xingtai and Shijiazhuang had an annual PM2.5 concentration of four times that of the minimum.
The U.S. survey showed that there were only 13 days last year that had good air quality in Beijing.
Greenpeace East Asia climate and energy campaigner Fang Lifeng has commented that Millions of Chinese are facing severe air pollution for one third of a year. Some areas rarely have any good air for the entire year.
Foreign Policy magazine’s recent report indicates that, nearly one-fifth of farmland is polluted, an official government study found in April, and so is three-fifths of China’s groundwater.
In a recent press release for the Pollution Report 2013, Chinese officials indicated that they will strive in the battle to control pollution of air, water, and soil.
Zhang Junfeng, environmentalist, Beijing: “We have not had a clear understanding of the cause of the pollution. The official claims for anti-pollution actions are pointless.”
Gong Shengli, commentator: “Speaking on the issue of pollution in water, soil and air, of course the Chinese populace need to take care of it. Without the participation of the people, the claims of the official makes it hard. It takes a check and balance of the policies, ideas and debates in science and technology. Otherwise, the effect will be counterproductive.”
Commentator Gong Shengli highlights past examples of the Chinese regime’s actions and decisions; the Three Gorges Dam, the Cultural Revolution, and the Great Leap Forward. All have only resulted in outrageous results and caused human catastrophes. He stresses the official battle against pollution is in need of scientific proof.
A recent survey by the Beijing and Northeast China chapters of the American Chamber of Commerce found that 48 percent of respondents “cited difficulty recruiting or retaining senior executives in China due to pollution.” This is what was reported in Foreign Policy.
Last October, thick haze covered most parts of northeast China. This includes Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning and other provinces. The Airport and more than 2,000 schools were forced to close in Harbin. Haze has also forced Heilongjiang Province to close a number of highways.
The Financial Times has reported earlier this year that the Airpocalypse in Beijing has forced foreign executives to leave China earlier and increased the cost in the investment in China.
The Greenpeace survey also indicated higher lung cancer and heart failure rates as a result of air pollution. This was based on the PM2.5 data from the regime officials.
Zhang Junfeng: “It is like all of the social problems we have encountered. Everything is closely related to our model of economic development. Only by recognising this will we step towards relieving the issues in social problems, as well as in pollution.”
The World Health Organization representative in China said in February this year that urban pollution in China should be dealt with as a “crisis”.

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