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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Can a ray of sun peak through the smog?

(Global Times)

08:48, December 07, 2011

Heavy smog has again cast its gloomy shadow on China's East and North regions, while a heated debate on whether the air pollution has gone "out of control" is now running wild. The official department insists that the situation is not that dire, but online opinion prefers to trust data released by the US Embassy in Beijing. Thus, the debate is not a result of misinterpretations of pollution levels, but a matter of government credibility. The government can easily lose this argument.

On the other hand, mixed responses to the smog have drawn a clear definition to China's developing-country status, as both its environmental protection and its credibility system are fragile.

China's environmental protection is hardly a functional system. The country's industrialization was low and had few automobile industries until relatively recently. Its cities could not cope with this sudden explosion. Although society was aware of environmental protection 20 years ago when its development started to accelerate, this awareness has proved to be one of the hardest and dearest to put into practice.

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