China’s pollution – apparently it’s all relative

Lang Lang on Pollution – apparently it’s all relative

I’m in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, for a few days and on first glance the city seems to have made a remarkable turn around in the few years since I last visited.

The air appears cleaner, the traffic running a little smoother and the streets are pristine clean for a Chinese city.

The government has also been greening like mad with little parks and trees
and the whole place, while not architecturally stunning or anything, looks far more liveable than it once did.

Some conversations last night in the new Chengdu Bookworm, a English language library, cafe and bar, with some locals and long term foreign residents reinforced this view.

Anyway, hopefully more on Chengdu later. Of interest this week was the fact that 24 year old Mainland Chinese pianist Lang Lang became the first successful applicant for residency in Hong Kong under the government’s Quality Migrant Admission Scheme – basically a way to get talented people to live in Hong Kong.

Lang Lang was of course delighted but of interest was the fact that when asked whether or not he thought the notoriously dirty air of Hong Kong would be a problem he replied, “I think the Hong Kong air is clean. I come from the north.”

By this Lang Lang meant that he comes from industrial Shenyang in Liaoning Province which is famously polluted. I see his point but isn’t it a bit like saying I don’t mind the cold in Iceland as I come from Greenland!

Paul French, China Editor
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