|Bianca Ortega |||Nov 03, 2014 02:11 AM EST|
(Photo : Reuters / Jason Lee) Members of an honour guard march after an official welcoming ceremony near Tiananmen Gate, on a heavily hazy day in Beijing October 24, 2014.
China is rushing in its effort to clean up its smog problem ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing from November 7-12.
In preparation for the upcoming APEC forum this weekend, China built new infrastructures including villas, a hotel, a convention center and a connecting highway. However, Beijing is still scrambling to provide its guests with clean air, according to The Atlantic.
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U.S. President Barack Obama and Russia's Vladmir Putin are among the heads of state due to arrive this week to attend the summit.
Beijing is notorious for having serious air pollution problems and smog-filled air has become part of daily living in the Chinese capital. Still, China is trying to correct or at least reduce the problem by suspending operations of major industries including steel production within a 124-mile radius of Beijing.
The municipal government of Beijing urged the residents to go out of town during the summit, even granting them a holiday to coincide with the event. Beijing has also imposed car restrictions for residents who choose to stay during the APEC forum.
The Chinese government has implemented various attempts to curb the country's smog problem, especially during international events. In 2008, Beijing successfully cleared the air in time for the Summer Olympics by cutting car travel and halting industries.
Despite all these efforts, China is still struggling to find a permanent solution to its pollution problems that will not hurt its economic growth, the report said.
Air pollution remains as one of the Communist Party's most embarrassing problems, among many other environmental issues. Last month, runners participating in Beijing's yearly marathon were forced to wear masks.
Last year, China's number of tourists dropped by 2.5 percent and this decline is attributed to the existing pollution problem.
More than its effect on tourism and aesthetics, air pollution has also crept into the health of the Chinese citizens. The World Health Organization says over 1.2 million people died prematurely from incidents linked to air pollution in Beijing.
ThinkProgress also released data showing 40 percent of deaths from pollution worldwide are in China, the report stated.
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