Beijing asks residents to leave town ahead of international economic forum

Announces week-long vacations to reduce pollution and traffic during meet

 
By Rajit Sengupta
Last Updated: Monday 17 August 2015

 Beijing's coal-fired power stations are largely blamed for air pollution in the city  (Image courtesy flickr)

China wants its people to leave the capital city of Beijing before next week to reduce air pollution and traffic levels during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meet that will be attended by several world leaders.

The municipal government has announced a week-long break (November 7 to Nov 12) for the forum, shutting schools, limiting cars on the roads and encouraging travel agencies to offer discount vacation packages. “The holiday in November is such a wonderful gift,” Tian Weiping, a literature professor at a university in Beijing told Bloomberg. “I’d love to visit Hangzhou or Shanghai.”
A Bloomberg report suggests the move will hit China’s industrial production growth “by as much as half a percentage point in October and November, while steel output in nearby Hebei province may fall 10 per cent in November”.

The provinces of Hebei and Shandong will bear the brunt of output losses as Beijing curbs industrial activity to ensure clean air, the report says.


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