广东蓝 (guǎngdōng lán): Guangdong Blue
During the annual session of the country's top legislature in March, Minister of Environmental Protection Chen Jining spoke highly of the improvement of air quality in South China's Guangdong province. Its annual PM2.5 density has been up to the national standard for two consecutive years.
The province's good air quality has been praised by the public and is known as "Guangdong Blue".
In 2016, the province's GDP reached 7.95 trillion yuan ($1.15 trillion), and it has been ranked first nationwide for 28 consecutive years. But Guangdong's air quality has not deteriorated as it has in other densely-populated regions. Guangdong's GDP in 2016, was seven times that of 2000, but the region's annual PM2.5 density was just 32 micrograms per cubic meter, and the number of days that suffered from haze was reduced from 200 in 2000 to 27 in 2016.
Guangdong's success in turning the sky from gray to blue in less than two decades shows the effectiveness and efficiency of local air pollution control and management measures. In addition, the air quality has also benefitted from the province's economic transformation and upgrading and the development of an innovation-driven economic pattern.
Guangdong's experience shows that environmental protection and economic growth can go hand in hand. It has set a good example for the rest of the country to follow.
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