China - Chinese air quality none of our business
Chinese minister asks US to stop posting air quality updates on Twitter.
America is at it again, upsetting the Chinese government for reporting just how bad the air pollution is in Beijing. Now a senior Chinese official has asked that such reporting stop claiming that such reporting is against international accord and the law.
The US Embassy's Twitter feed relaying air pollution data to interested parties.
The station was set up on after embassy staff took exception to the official reports that Beijing sometimes had air pollution that was classified as "slight." In reality, Beijing is often covered with a thick layer of brown soot and smoke from industrial and agricultural emissions and the exhaust of hundreds of thousands of vehicles.
China's environment is literally besieged by pollution with at least 10 percent of the country's monitored rivers rated as "severely polluted."
Despite this reality, the Chinese government does not want it broadcast to the world. Presently, the US embassy in Beijing posts regular air quality data on Twitter.
However, minister Wu insists the reporting is illegal and must stop. Wu said, "According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. foreign diplomats are required to respect and follow local laws and cannot interfere in internal affairs."
The statement continued, "China's air quality monitoring and information release involve the public interest and are up to the government. Foreign consulates in China taking it on themselves to monitor air quality and release the information online not only goes against the spirit of the Vienna Convention... it also contravenes relevant environmental protection rules."
Still, the readings only state the obvious, that Beijing is frequently blanketed in a coat of smog. When combined with news of other environmental damage done by factories and the government, and reports from watchdogs groups on working conditions in China, one thing becomes clear. The Chinese government is more in love with its money and reputation than its environment or people, which prompts the question, just who are the greedy capitalists?
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: China, environment, air quality, Twitter, pollution
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