Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in China
News from China, an initiative by Melton Fellows from Zhejiang University in advance of the upcoming Global Citizenship Conference (GCC) 2015 in Hangzhou, China, covers a wide variety of issues concerning China, as well as the world as a whole.This week they report on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held in Beijing, China.
On November 10, 2014, 21 APEC members met in Beijing, the capital of China, to discuss the hot issues related to the economic growth of the Asia-Pacific region.
APEC economies account for nearly 40% of the world’s population and contribute approximately 44% of trade to the world. Its purpose is to promote free trade and economic cooperation within the Asia-Pacific rim.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the APEC meeting. To ensure clean air during the meetings, Beijing and its neighboring regions -- including Hebei, Tianjin, Shandong and Inner Mongolia -- imposed temporary restrictions, including halting emission-heavy production and limiting cars on the streets based on their license plates.
Nearly 4,000 factories were ordered to close or curb production in Hebei during the week-long meetings. As a result,the Beijing sky remained blue for the week, despite predictions otherwise, with daily PM 2.5 density in the period falling to 43 micrograms per cubic meter, prompting Chinese netizens to coin the phrase "APEC Blue" to describe the clear sky.
The APEC meetings have raised public awareness on the need to phase out excessive and outdated industrial capacity, giving citizens an opportunity to place more pressure on heavy-polluting factories. "APEC Blue" injected the country with confidence, lending the assurance that the battle can be won. Still, we must realize that administrative order alone is not enough -- stricter supervision is needed in the future.
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