Beijing Should Take Tougher Measures to Tackle Smog Problem

An editorial by Ho Yan Wong, 1/19/2017

Airplanes could not take off or land, people wore different types of masks on the streets, and citizens dared not open any window at home. This was Beijing blanketed in heavy smog during the past weeks.

Beijing suffered a particularly severe smog problem last month. Though there have been a number of measures taken since the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the smog problem still exists and has worsened.

Take Tougher Measures

“People always say that this [smog problem]is an inevitable phase for development. This thought is what makes the environment even worse,” Beijing resident Ji Xin said.

Economic development is crucial, especially in rapidly-developing China. However, if the environment continues to worsen and the city becomes inhospitable, what is the point in having a great economy?

Beijing should take tougher measures regarding coal burning and factories alongside the regulations of vehicles launched in the past, for the sake of future generations and future sustainable development.

Once the measures are decided and goals are set, the government should keep their promise to achieve them.

Keeping Promises and Reaching Goals

Former Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun once said Beijing would clear the air by 2017 or he would “chop [his] head off.” However, smog problems have not improved, and have instead worsened. Wang resigned as Beijing’s mayor three months ago.

“China government is running coercive diplomacy,” Ji said. “If it really wants to do something, there is high possibility to save the environment. But now the government is still sacrificing the ecology for their own interests.”

According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the city’s acting mayor Cai Qi announced a number of measures to carry out in 2017. Though tougher measures will be carried out in the area of coal burning and factories, the effect of these measures still depends on the government’s effort.




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