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Pollution in Guangzhou So Bad the Mayor Will Take the Bus

Posted: 11/4/2014 9:15 am

At a time when smog has become one of the top social issues in China, one prominent public figure is vowing to do something about it. Chen Jianhua, the Mayor of Guangzhou, has pledged to refrain from driving, and will take the bus instead if the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) exceeds the “unhealthy” range of 200, reports Nanfang Net.

According to Chen, about 77 percent of days this year have been relatively smog free, a 0.7 percent increase over 2013. The number of unhealthy days has also declined, he said. But the ultimate goal, says Chen, is to “make Guangzhou residents proud of Guangzhou’s air quality”.

Chen’s pledge to take the bus was met with scepticism, and even dismissed as a publicity stunt by official media outlets, considering the city has only exceeded the 200 benchmark once all year, wrote Red Net in a commentary. The piece was later republished by

“Considering Guangzhou only has a moderate air pollution problem, Mayor Chen’s much-hyped 200-air-quality target seems a little too easy. If he could lower the target to 150 as the benchmark for taking the bus, his plan would probably garner more support, and the public would not question his remark as little more than a publicity stunt.”

The AQI reading is usually between 100 and 150 in Guangzhou. In China, air quality is categorised into five grades. Below 50 is considered healthy; 51-100 is moderate; 100-200 range is unhealthy; 200-300 range is very unhealthy; and a reading above 300 is considered hazardous.


  • Mangrove

    Traveling around the interior of China this week I was struck with how polluted even the small remote towns are. So bad it causes your nose to bleed.

    Slowly this country is choking itself to death, while negatively impacting the worlds environment at the same time.

    This should be a crime against humanity.

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