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Beijing faces 10 year air quality record

August 20, 2008 – 5:07 am

Beijing is well known for it’s low air quality. The sun often has a yellow or red hue, sometimes isn’t visible at all. During the last few days that has changed. Now Beijing’s people can look up to the sky and see a decent blue. Rain during some of the last days has helped as well to wash dust particles out of the previously thick air.

So the Olympic environment protecting measures kick in. Thousands of companies have been temporary shut down, as well as a lot of stinky cars are removed from the now enjoyable roads. Beijing’s new air quality has gained admiration locally and internationally. Officials have announced, they will try to keep the air clean even when Olympic athletes have left the sports venues. This sounds like a nice step.

But what happens to thousands or maybe millions of employers and employees? Will they get any compensation for not earning money. If they are not allowed to reopen after the Olympics all their assets will be worthless. Families who have invested all their savings in a production plant have now a worthless asset only a fool would be interested in now. I highly doubt Beijing will pay compensations.

Long term environment protection laws are a step in the right direction for a clean future, however short term a previous mistake will probably repeated. Changes are made suddenly, without proper notice period and the people loose. It has happened countless times in Chinas history and is about to happen again.

The Chinese stock market is suffering and a part of the reason is, China introduces laws or changes existing laws suddenly. This is not a proper business environment. Who will trust a government that changes rules unpredictably? The drop in Chinese stock prices reflects just this.

China is still a great place to make business, but it’s still nothing solid to build on. Companies should have a backup strategy just in case.

Then the Chinese government should keep in mind that China also consists of other cities with bad air.

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