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Health & Environment

China: Flights delayed as air pollution hits record in Shanghai


A man wears a face mask while walking on the Bund during a hazy day in downtown Shanghai December 6, 2013

A man wears a face mask while walking on the Bund during a hazy day in downtown Shanghai December 6, 2013

Hundreds of flights were delayed or cancelled on Friday in China’s commercial hub of Shanghai as record levels of air pollution shrouded the city in smog, prompting authorities to issue the highest level of health warning.

The incident is especially embarrassing at a time when China seeks to build Shanghai into a global business hub on par with the likes of London, New York and Hong Kong by 2020.

On Friday afternoon, the Shanghai government issued its severest health warning as the city’s pollution index ranged between 23 times and 31 times the levels recommended by international health officials.

In the first such advice since a new health warning system was launched in April, authorities urged residents to stay indoors and asked factories to either cut or halt production.

“I don’t think it’s fit for people to live in this kind of environment,” said Shanghai resident Fan Jianjun, 34, who wore a face mask as he walked through the opaque air in the Lujiazui financial district.

“But I have no choice. I still need to work. I can only take preventive measures but I have no idea whether they work.”

Air quality in cities is of increasing concern to China’s stability-obsessed leaders, anxious to douse potential unrest as more affluent citizens turn against a growth-at-all-costs economic model that has polluted much of the country’s air, water and soil.

The government has announced many plans to fight pollution over the years but has made little apparent progress.

Most of the flights leaving Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport have been delayed, according to the airport’s website. Pudong was the world’s third busiest cargo airport in 2011, data from the Airports Council International shows.

Hazardous air pollution forced schools to shut or suspend outdoor activities in at least two cities in eastern China on Thursday. Some schools in Shanghai cancelled outdoor activities on Friday, as well.

The unusually noxious haze was caused by several factors, including industrial pollution and auto emissions trapped by cold, windless weather, said Xu Bin, an associate professor at Shanghai’s Tongji University.

By 0700 GMT, the level of PM2.5 particulate matter, or tiny particles in the air that are the most hazardous to health, reached a “severely polluted” 466, according to the Shanghai government’s monitoring website, here

A similar measure by the U.S. consulate in Shanghai showed a reading of 503, a level described as being beyond the index on its website here

Levels above 300 are considered hazardous, while the World Health Organisation recommends a daily level of no more than 20.

Source: Reuters – Flights delayed as air pollution hits record in Shanghai
 
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About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

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