China has unveiled a raft of temporary measures designed to “guarantee” clean air in Beijing for a military parade to be held on September 3 that will commemorate the end of World War II.
“The parade will mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression”, according to a report from Chinese state-run newswire Xinhua.
It will also be a national holiday in China.
In order to “guarantee” clean air for the event, the government ordered the temporary shutdown of some coal-powered power plants in Beijing, Hebei, Tianjin, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shandong and Henan between August 28 and September 4.
Along with coal-fired power plants, the government also instructed over 10,000 factories to shut or reduce production while 9,000 construction sites were also told to down tools. The use of private cars on Beijing’s roads will also be limited to every second day based on their registration plate numbers.
While these measures may seem a tad overarching to an outsider, to China’s environment minister Chen Jining, having clean air is “integral to the success of the parade and the overall image of the capital city”.
Zhang Gong, the vice mayor of Beijing, predicts the efforts will help reduce emissions of major air pollutants by 40% in Beijing and 30% in other regions.
While Zhang is confident, other are not so sure the measures will guarantee blue skies for the parade.
“Despite the efforts, there is still risk of smog in September as we usually experience gentle wind and high humidity,” said Hao Jiming from the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Hao believes even tougher measures are required for Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei to ensure the desired result.
While in most other parts of the world you can’t control mother nature, as China’s government has demonstrated many times before, what they want they almost always get.
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