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China's energy adjustments get kudos

By ZHANG ZHOUXIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-02 07:50
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Visitors take advantage of clear skies to take photos of the Palace Museum in Beijing. WANG XIN/FOR CHINA DAILY

China reduced as much air pollution in seven years as the United States did in three decades. This observation made in a University of Chicago Energy Policy Institute report in June has gone viral on Twitter with Chinese diplomats and public figures sharing it.

Analyzing data for the past two decades, the report concludes that from 2013 to 2020, the concentration of harmful particulate matter such as PM2.5 per cubic meters has fallen by 40 percent, thus increasing the life expectancy of residents in China.

It also said that "China's success in reducing pollution is a strong indication of the opportunities that could lie ahead for other nations if they were to impose strong anti-pollution policies, as some are beginning to do."

Anybody residing in Beijing or any other metropolis in the past seven years must have noticed the change for themselves. In the early 2010s everyone was forced to wear a breathing mask, not because of any pandemic, but to avoid inhaling harmful PM2.5 and PM10 particles.

However, China adjusted the industrial structure, laying emphasis on Hebei province and other major steel producers. It invested heavily in the energy sector, replacing the coal-based energy structure with one based on clean energy.

This kind of structural adjustment involves so many interests, yet the central government coordinated it well. Now the majority of the people in the country can see blue skies again.

Because China has done a good job, certain Western scientists are paying due attention to the fact, while even Western media outlets have given it due coverage. That not only helps China gain deserved attention globally, but also helps other parts of the world that are now being prompted to learn from China.

It is good that the Western scientists did their research on China in a fair, non-discriminatory manner, and equally good that certain Western media outlets report them in a fair manner. We hope that more Western media outlets will follow this good example.

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