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China needs time, room to improve air quality


08:33, June 08, 2012

BEIJING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Disputes regarding the quality of Beijing's air have sparked criticism against the Chinese government for allegedly dismissing its responsibility to provide a better environment.

The U.S. embassy in China releases hourly air quality data, describing the air in Beijing and other major cities as unhealthy or worse.

In fact, the data collected by the U.S. Embassy and Chinese government are not too different. It is the judgments made by both sides that have misled the public on the issue.

Those who are skeptical should realize that no matter how badly the data embarrasses China, releasing such information will not help resolve the problem.

The Chinese government has announced that it will adopt an average daily standard of 75 micrograms of particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in size, or PM2.5, per cubic meter of air, as well as an average yearly standard of 35 micrograms.

The Chinese national standards for PM2.5 conform with the minimum requirements set by the World Health Organization for developing countries,according to Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian.

As the largest developing country in terms of population and economy, China has had to face a variety of problems, including severe and widespread environmental pollution, as a result of its rapid industrialization.

The international community should give China enough time and room to gradually improve its air quality, which is sometimes a dilemma for developing countries as they make efforts to compromise between maintaining economic growth and protecting the environment.

Air quality conditions and standards in developed countries are undeniably better. However, this level of quality cannot be achieved without long-term efforts to clean up 100 years of pollution.

China will make unremitting endeavors to pursue cleaner air quality and more environmentally friendly development. The country's ambition and patience should be respected.


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