(VOVworld) – China’s capital city, Beijing, has taken steps to fight heavy smog since the first red alert for air pollution this year was issued last week. Other cities and provinces in northern China are facing their worst air pollution in a year. China’s red alert is issued whenever heavy air pollution occurs for 4 consecutive days or the Air Quality Index (AQI) exceeds 500. The Chinese National Meteorological Centre says that over the past 5 days dusty air blanketed Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Henan, and Shandong. Beijing authorities have banned high-polluting vehicles from the roads and cut in half the number of vehicles on the road using an odd-or-even license plate rule. Construction sites and polluting factories have been suspended. Schools have been advised to close. People have been encouraged to use public transportation, keep their doors closed, and use air filters. Beijing authorities have advised people, especially the elderly and children, to … [Read more...] about Beijing fights air pollution
Beijing national day school
The $1 million bribe came on wheels: a travel suitcase stuffed with U.S. dollars that senior Chinese banker Yang Kun collected from CJW, a bar in Beijing’s Chaoyang District that offers cigars, jazz and wine. The property developer who handed over the money in November 2011 wanted loans from Agricultural Bank of China Ltd., where Yang was a vice president, according to a report of court proceedings in the state-run People’s Daily. Wrongdoing like Yang’s -- his life sentence was announced Feb. 4 by a provincial court -- may take time to stamp out. The excessive power of senior bankers, appointed by the Communist Party and able to dole out relatively cheap loans from the nation’s $18 trillion of deposits, impedes efforts to combat corruption, according to Hu Xingdou, an economics professor at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Beijing Institute of Technology. “The government needs to fix the fundamental problems, such as giving more banking … [Read more...] about Million-dollar bribe at Beijing jazz bar for top banker
When Defense Minister Tea Banh addressed graduates last month at Cambodia's prestigious Army Institute, he directed his thanks to the guests who made it all possible: a group of crisply dressed officers from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). The institute, established in 1999 around 80 km (50 miles) from Phnom Penh, is part of China's rising military aid to Cambodia. Interviews with serving officers and a senior Cambodian government official shed light on how far the school's influence has grown in recent years. Military aid, alongside arms sales and billions of dollars of investment, have strengthened China's ties with Cambodia, and analysts see it as part of a push to extend regional influence, including in the disputed South China Sea. During his speech at the institute in Kampong Speu province, Tea lavished praise on the "luxurious" facilities - a rarity for Cambodia's often ramshackle armed forces. Addressing the Chinese, he added: "We are grateful to them for understanding … [Read more...] about Chinese influence in Cambodia grows with army school, aid
VietNamNet Bridge - Admitting that the air in Hanoi has been polluted for a long time, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) said the pollution level in Hanoi must not reach levels as high as in Beijing. Aqicn.org, the website which provides real-time figures about the air pollution levels in cities all over the world, showed that the PM2.5 Index (the fine dust particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter) in the air in Hanoi in the last two days reached 388 microgram per cubic meter at maximum and 114 microgram per cubic meter at minimum. Vietnam’s PM2.5 national standard is 50 microgram per cubic meter. Meanwhile, the level recommended by WHO is 25 micrograms. This means that the dust concentration in the air in Hanoi in the last days was higher than the allowed level by 2-8 times. At 2 pm of February 3, the PM2.5 Index in Hanoi was measured at 166 microgram per cubic meter, or 3 times higher than allowed. The website stated that the … [Read more...] about Is Hanoi more polluted than Beijing?
Beijing is to raise the thresholds for issuing its highest air pollution warnings, the state news agency Xinhua reported on Sunday, two months after acrid smog triggered the city's first ever "red alerts". In future, the highest alert will only be issued when the daily average air quality index (AQI) is forecast to exceed 500 for a day, 300 for two days in a row or 200 for four days, Xinhua reported, citing Beijing's environmental protection bureau. At present, a red alert is issued when the AQI is forecast to exceed 200, a level the United States deems "very unhealthy", for at least three days. Schools were closed and outdoor construction work was suspended when thick smog prompted Beijing to issued its first red alert last December. The new criteria take effect at the end of March and are designed to standardize pollution alerts across Beijing, the neighboring port city of Tianjin and four cities in the surrounding Hebei province, Xinhua reported. Liu Wei, deputy head of the … [Read more...] about Beijing to raise threshold for issuing air pollution ‘red alerts’