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A beautiful China should first be clean and healthy | Updated: 2013-01-30 21:14

North China is shrouded in heavy smog for the fourth time this winter. The government must do something to relieve the people's anxiety and take better care of public health, says an editorial in China Business News. Excerpts:

It seems smoggy air is already common weather in North China. But one thing is certain: This is not the beautiful China promised by the new leadership of the Communist Party of China or what the people would like to experience.

Air pollution has escalated from an isolated problem of specific cities to a regional and now national threat. Restricting cars according to their plates and forcing factories to suspend production are only makeshift solutions. The Chinese government must squarely face the problem and take concrete actions to clean the air.

China should not promote the development of an automobile society because of the country's large population. China's environment cannot afford such a heavy burden. The State-owned oil firms and refineries should also tell the public what the true quality of their products is because many doubts the gas quality in China is much lower than what it is labeled.

The Chinese government always says some problems arising in the process of development can be solved only through further development. Past experience indicates some of them can be, but many cannot.

If development conflicts with environment, it means the development model must be adjusted. Otherwise, the economic gains will be paid back through environmental debts.

The air pollution makes people feel helpless and has the veto power for almost all development achievements. A beautiful China should first be a clean and healthy China, but not necessarily a modern or rich country.

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