MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - On the eve of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) forum, Beijing will adopt a special air control plan, according to the Chinese state-run Xinhua media outlet.
"Enterprises and coal-consuming furnaces on the capital's black list of polluters will be ordered to suspend operations or reduce production to cut emissions during the meetings," the media source reports citing Li Lixin, an air pollution treatment official with the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau.
Xinhua emphasizes that this year Beijing has strengthened control measures for air and water pollution and stiffened penalties for violations. Zhong Chonglei, the chief of the Beijing Environmental Monitoring Team noted that "the capital has handled 1,149 air pollution-related cases from January to September with total fines of more than 25.78 million yuan (4.2 million U.S. dollars)." Zhong added that the fines have increased tremendously.
Despite the fact that the measures undertaken by the city's authorities have borne fruit and the air quality has reportedly improved in China's Beijing-Tianji-Hebei region, three days of smog starting on October 8 have intensified concerns over pollution.
China Daily reported on Friday, October 10, that from November 3 to 12 Beijing would limit the use of private transport "based on even- and odd-numbered license plates," adding that all the vehicles transporting construction waste and chemicals would be removed from the city's roads. The plan would also include closures of construction sites. These measures are similar to those imposed in 2008 during the Beijing Olympic Games, according to the media source.
"Beijing will make every effort to prepare for the APEC meeting and we need to control air and water pollution," said Guo Jinlong, Beijing's Party chief, as quoted by China Daily.
The APEC forum will take its place in Beijing from November 5 to November 11. It will incorporate 21 states, including China, Russia and the United States, which represent 40 percent of the world's population and 46 percent of total global trade, Xinhua points out.