Beijing Smog Closes Highways as Travelers Return After Holiday

Beijing Smog Closes Highways as Travelers Return After Holiday

Air pollution in Beijing, China’s capital city, reached a heavy level today with smog causing flight disruptions and the closure of expressways in the nation’s northern region at the end of a week-long holiday. Air quality index readings for most of Beijing’s urban areas were above 200 as of 8 a.m. today, indicating a level of heavy pollution, according to data on the website of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center. Police closed six expressways linking the capital city to Shanghai, Tianjin and Harbin yesterday, and 47 flights at Beijing Capital International Airport were affected. Millions of Chinese travelers will be seeking to return home today, the last day of a week-long holiday that started Oct. 1. Some parts of the expressways linking Beijing to Shanghai and Tianjin were still closed as of 9:40 a.m. because of haze, according to Beijing Capital Highway Development Group Co., which operates the highways.Flights have resumed at Beijing Capital International Airport, an official said, declining to be identified citing company policy. Air China Ltd. (753), the nation’s biggest carrier by market value, will put on additional services after the smog affected at least 47 flights yesterday, an official said.

An estimated 430 million people are expected to travel during the holiday, an increase of 18 percent from a year earlier, according to the China Tourism Academy.

Social Unrest

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to clean up pollution, which has become the top cause of social unrest in the nation. The State Council, China’s cabinet, last month said it will cut coal consumption, close steel plants and control the number of cars on its roads to gradually eliminate heavily polluted days in as soon as a decade.

China will build a nationwide network within three to five years to monitor the impact of air pollution on health, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Oct. 5, citing the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

A total of 43 monitoring spots will be set up in 16 provinces and municipalities frequently engulfed by smog to facilitate research on air pollutants in different regions, the impact on the health of vulnerable groups and the study of related diseases, the report said.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Zhang Shidong in Shanghai at szhang5@bloomberg.net; Jasmine Wang in Hong Kong at jwang513@bloomberg.net

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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