Is China's Air Pollution Really That Bad?

The short answer is yes - here's why.

Despite China scoring as the 13th most polluted countries according to The Telegraph, China's air pollution is one of the worst. The 13th spot is largely due to the large size of China where rural areas without much pollution are located. However, the majority of China's citizens live in urban areas, where the pollution can get bad. People often wake up to a smog-filled day where buildings are barely visible in places such as Shanghai. In fact, in the beginning of New Years in 2017, Beijing's air quality index hit 482 out of 500, far past what was deemed hazardous to death. All I remember from my last visit to Hong Kong was smog-filled air blocking my views of attractions. The abundance of smog could even harm certain parts of the economy such as the flight industry where clear skies are needed for flying and earning business. China has been improving however. The Chinese government says that they are putting "strict" regulations on vehicles and more. In 2016, Shanghai saw increasing clear skies from previous years which may be because of these regulations. Until China makes major actions, we can expect frequent smoggy mornings in China for a long time.


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