ONE of Beijing’s worst rounds of air pollution has kept school children indoors and sent coughing residents to hospitals.
But this time something was different about the murky haze: the government’s transparency in talking about it, reported Huffington Post on Monday.
Government officials — who have played down past periods of heavy smog — held news conferences and posted messages on microblogs discussing the pollution.
Even state-run media gave the smog remarkably critical and prominent play.
“More suffocating than the haze is the weakness in response,” read the headline of a front-page commentary by the Communist Party-run China Youth Daily.
Air pollution is a major problem in China due to the country’s rapid pace of industrialization, reliance on coal power, explosive growth in vehicle ownership and disregard for environmental laws, with development often taking priority over health, said the online news site.