There are definite drawbacks to serving as a workshop for the capitalist world, and this is one of the most obvious. Of course, this was Deng Xiaoping's "win-win" strategy which began in 1978 (profits for Western corporations by using China's cheap labor in exchange for technology) to accelerate the building of China's economy. And it worked fabulously well. But there are downsides and extreme pollution is one of them. Others? Consumerist values and potential capitalist influence in China's ruling class.
Public opinion in China was choked with depression, fear and anger, as large swaths of the country remained shrouded in dangerously high levels of smog and the Beijing government prolonged its yellow alert till Saturday.You might also be interested in reading this editorial entitled "Massive social reform needed to cure smog" from the same source.
Wednesday was the fifth day since the environmental department issued an orange alert for smog in Beijing. Highways have been shut down, flights canceled, and construction work and some vehicles are restricted in order to ease pollution.
However, economic losses are meager compared with torrential waves of complaints by disgruntled city dwellers.