“I want to tell mayors, county chiefs and heads of big companies: don’t just chase GDP growth, don’t chase the biggest profits at the expense of our children and grandchildren and at the cost of sacrificing our ecological environment”, Chen said.
The cans are purportedly filled to the brim with pristine air from unindustrialised areas of China such as Xinjiang. Netizens voiced concerns over whether the cans themselves are made from recycled materials. After all, is that not the crux of the whole issue here? It’s worth considering too what the environmental cost of transporting cans of air all the way from Xinjiang to Beijing is, unless Chen used a fleet of solar powered trucks.
Notorious publicity hound Chen brings this type of scepticism on himself. No one is begrudging Chen his publicity stunts to promote environmental causes, but couldn’t he at least have slapped a “save the trees” slogan on the can rather than a caricature of his own face and a message reading “Chen Guangbiao is a Good Man”.
The cans sell for five yuan a pop, with proceeds going to impoverished areas of the country. Each can of air sold also helps to further inflate Chen’s ego.