China demands US stop pollution checks

Featured - June 6th, 2012

China is calling on the US embassy in Beijing to stop broadcasting hourly pollution readings which are putting the world’s second-largest economy’s environmental issues under the spotlight.

China’s rapid economic development is taking a toll on the environment with increasing rates of pollution-related diseases such as cancer, and birth defects, according to government researches.

The consistent reading from the US embassy air monitoring station seemed to put pressure on China which heightened its sensitivities to environmental costs. Deputy environment minister Wu Xiaoling called the US reading as “interference in the internal affairs of China”, also saying that it violates the Vienna Convention on diplomatic conduct.

Chinese efforts to tighten the ropes on environmental pollution seems lacking when it comes to implementing high pollution standards. China monitors larger particulate matter, not as harmful as small particles which the US closely watches. In releasing data, China only publishes air quality once a day.

The environment ministry stated that it will raise standards by requiring 70 cities to submit measures on small particulate matter, also known as PM 2.5, as the public urged for accurate measures following a smog indicating hazardous levels contrary to government reading.