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Survey Shows Nearly 80Pct of Citizens Dissatisfied with Air Quality

11-08 13:57 Caijing

72.7 percent of respondents felt that air quality is “bad” in their cities, and only 15.6 percent were satisfied with local air quality, according to a survey posted online by the China Youth Daily.
Smog blankets Beijig on Oct 31. Photo taken by Xinhua

An online survey shows that nearly 80 percent of citizens are dissatisfied with the air quality in local cities, amid a hot debate over China’s air monitoring standard and denouncement over government’s role to reduce pollution.

72.7 percent of respondents felt that air quality is “bad” in their cities, and only 15.6 percent were satisfied with local air quality, according to a survey posted online by the China Youth Daily.

Asked about whether local environmental bureau’s monitoring results were in inline with their intuitive feelings, 69.8 percent of them said “No,” and 55.3 percent said the current measures adopted to monitor air quality and control pollution were “lagged behind.”

In Beijing, the capital city, the environment administration reported on Oct. 31 that the city had embraced 19 days with air quality registered as “good” and above, six days less than that in the same period of last year.

Doubts aroused over the report as days of smog forced the closure of highways and cancellation of flights in Beijing in the end of October. Many have reported discomfort in their throats and lungs.

In the survey, an overwhelming majority—85.3 percent—blamed industrial pollutions for the bad air quality, as local government officials are obsessed with the GDP, a measure to assess their work.

63.9 percent of the respondents said they anticipated a more “precise” air quality monitoring data.

The survey also showed that most of the local residents are consciously protecting themselves from pollutions, with 63.2 percent said they would reduce activities outside, and 39.2 percent “wear masks when going out.”

Debates have been fueled on the Internet after some eminent users of the Weibo, China’s twitter like microblog, retweeted postings from the U.S. embassy, warning over Beijing’s air pollution and posting much worse ratings of air quality than the government did.

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