China / Society

Canal between Beijing and Tianjin may reduce PM2.5

(ECNS) Updated: 2014-06-10 14:56

A top government think tank has suggested that a canal flowing from Beijing to Tianjin would help improve the capital city's environment and ease its water shortage.

The plan has been formulated by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in a bluebook released on Monday. It elaborates on a wealth of benefits the canal would bring, from environmental improvements to opportunities for economic development.

The proposed canal starts from Beijing's Tongzhou district and flows through neighboring Hebei province to Tianjin's Binhai New Area, with an estimated length of 160 km.

The future canal will create a microclimate conducive to reducing PM2.5, because moisture can serve as a dust deterrent, the bluebook says.

It also says the project would bring seawater from Bohai to Beijing, where it can be used after desalination to help ease the water shortage.

The project to divert water from the Yangtze River to Beijing won't solve the problem of water scarcity, as the city faces a shortage of 1.5 billion cubic meters, the Beijing Youth Daily has reported.

The canal will be navigable for 30,000-ton-class cargo ships, opening up a new page for Beijing and neighboring areas in marine transportation, the newspaper added.

However, the plan has aroused opposition from netizens. One mocked Beijing for wanting to become a shipping center, as it's already the country's political, cultural, economic and educational center.

The capital city should let another location have that honor, said a netizen from Hebei province's Baoding city, adding that "New York serves as the economic center of the US, while the capital Washington, D.C. only has a population of several hundred thousand."

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