By Sharon Kwok
The Asian Development Bank and Tsinghua University recently released the ”National Environmental Analysis”, which reported that among the world’s ten most air polluted cities, 7 are in China: Taiyuan, Beijing, Urumqi, Lanzhou, Chongqing, Jinan and Shijiazhuang. The report also points out that only 1% of China’s 500 cities have met the air quality standard recommended by the World Health Organisation.
Severe smog has blanketed China, with Beijing hitting an unusually high air pollution index for 5 consecutive days. Visibility remains less than 2000 metres. There is a sharp rise in the frequency of car accidents, and cases of respiratory illness. The big hospitals in Beijing, Jinan, Shijiazhuang and Nanning are all packed with patients.
When interviewed by the Economic Information Daily, experts commented, ”Environmental challenges faced by China are arguably more complicated than any other country’s”. They also advised that in order to improve China’s air quality, it is important for authorities to take measures in urban planning and structures of industry and power sources.