China 's Struggle With Air Pollution

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On October 1st, 1949, the People’s Republic of China officially became a country and a player on the world stage. Since then, China has entered a new Communist era of stability, with the Reform and Opening Up policies of 1978 bringing in China’s phenomenal economic growth (Tisdell, 2008). However, with these advances in industry come a downside: air pollution. Since the early 1980s, air pollution levels have been climbing to dangerous levels. However, in 2013, the scales tipped for the worst. This certainly was not the first year that air contamination reared its ugly face, blackening Chinese cities, closing roadways and sending children to the hospital. Although difficulty breathing and poor air conditions had been a fact of life for most people in China, awareness of the problem peaked that year, causing 2013 to be remembered as the year that China’s struggle with air pollution went mainstream. Shortly after the start of the year, Beijing and surrounding regions were hit by pollution of unimaginable levels. At one point, in the middle of January, the Air Quality Index level in Beijing peaked as high as 993, far beyond levels health officials deem extremely dangerous. For comparison, on the same day in Miami, the AQI was 11 (Xinhua, 2013). As this air pollution issue continues to develop, it is vital that the Chinese put an end to this air contamination because of the health issues, economic issues, and international relation issues.

China’s pollution peaking at
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