Taiwan claims to be getting a nice whiff of mainland growth and development this week as the island is enveloped in a thick layer of smog of not so mysterious origin.
On Tuesday, Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) warned that pollutants were being blown into northern and western Taiwan by strong winds out of the northwest causing PM 2.5 levels to rise to “very serious” levels of even above 100 (GASP!).
To the northwest of Taiwan happens to lie the mainland, where Shanghai recently experienced some of its worst smog and Beijing went on red alert.
However, Zhang Yuanxun, a professor of environmental sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the Global Times that the logic of Taiwan’s accusation is hazy at best. “It is far-fetched to deduce that the smog is coming from Beijing since air pollution is a global problem,” he said.
After all, the hazardous particles above Beijing could have been blown anywhere, or they could have settled, been cleansed by the rain or ended up being formed into brick. There’s really no telling. But considering the long travelling distance and lengthy period of time, it is unlikely they managed to end up in Taiwan, Zhang explained.
It’s unclear if Zhang is aware that Beijing is not the only city in China with smog problems lately.
Once again, netizens from the mainland have taken joy in mocking their Taiwanese counterparts saying that if there truly is only one China, they should all breathe in the same air.
Meanwhile, middle-aged Taiwanese pop star Huang An stirred up debate online by telling his compatriots to stop whining, posting to his Weibo account: “It’s the smog that keeps Taiwan alive. Be grateful!”