Tag Archives | Beijing

Obama Warns Kids ‘Could Not Breathe’ If Clear Air Regs Not Passed

It might not be the best day to tell Americans they soon might not be able to breathe (think Eric Garner outrage), but The Hill reports that President Obama is using exactly that threat:

President Obama defended his controversial environmental regulations on Wednesday, arguing that without efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. could be issuing smog warnings like China.

“I would just point to one simple example, and that is you would not want your kids growing up in Beijing right now, because they could not breathe,” Obama said.

“And the fact of the matter is that used to be true in Los Angeles — as recently as 1970. And the reason it changed was because of the Clean Air Act,” he added.

Smog in Beijing CBD

Major Chinese cities Shanghai and Beijing have been the subject to smog warnings in the past year, alerting children and the elderly to remain indoors due to record pollution.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Outspoken Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Arrested & Detained in Beijing, Current Status Unknown

Ai Weiwei

Photo: Hafenbar (CC)

Kyle Chayka writes on Hyperallergic:

Reports have been flying from Twitter that approximately 14 hours ago just before a planned flight to Hong Kong, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been arrested and detained at the Beijing airport. 10 hours ago [Sunday morning Beijing time], police raided Ai’s studio on the outskirts of Beijing. Ai’s status is now unknown: his phone is off, and power has been cut to the studio. The Guardian has the first official report of the events. Here are the details of the arrest:

Ai was due to fly to Hong Kong for business this morning, but was detained at immigration on his way out of Beijing. An officer told an assistant who was travelling with him that the artist had “other business” and could not board the plane.

Between 15 and 20 uniformed and plain clothes police surrounded his studio in Caochangdi, in the north of the capital, and more were believed to be searching it.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Traffic Jam in China Enters Ninth Day

china-traffic-jamIt always seems to take forever to get anywhere when you’re sitting in traffic. Sitting in traffic for over a week is just ridiculous. This must be a record. From Sky News:

A 100km long traffic jam in China has entered its ninth day and drivers are being warned the bottleneck could continue for a month.

Hundreds of trucks heading for Beijing on the Beijing-Tibet Expressway have been at a standstill because of roadworks in the capital.

Small traffic accidents or broken-down cars are aggravating the congestion which started on August 14.

But those affected have been taking the disruption in their stride.

Drivers have been playing chess or cards, with some joking “concerts should be held at each congested area every weekend, to alleviate drivers’ homesickness”.

And local residents have been benefiting from the queue too by setting up temporary stalls selling food and drink to the car owners.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

China’s Public Transportation You Can Drive Under

How could a bus be faster, cheaper and greener? Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Ct., Ltd has the answer. China Hush reports:
A big concern on top of urban transportation planner’s mind is how to speed up the traffic: putting more buses on the road will jam the roads even worse and deteriorate the air; building more subway is costly and time consuming. Well, here is an cheaper, greener and fast alternative to lighten their mind up a bit: the straddling bus, first exhibited on the 13th Beijing International High-tech Expo in May this year. In the near future, the model is to be put into pilot use in Beijing’s Mentougou District. (The official site of the high-tech expo put it as 3D fast bus, which I think is more confusing, for now I’ll just call it the straddling bus.) Proposed by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd, the model looks like a subway or light-rail train bestriding the road. It is 4-4.5 m high with two levels: passengers board on the upper level while other vehicles lower than 2 m can go through under. Powered by electricity and solar energy, the bus can speed up to 60 km/h carrying 1200-1400 passengers at a time without blocking other vehicles’ way. Also it costs about 500 million yuan to build the bus and a 40-km-long path for it, only 10% of building equivalent subway. It is said that the bus can reduce traffic jams by 20-30%. Here is the presentation by Song Youzhou, chairman of Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd.
Read translation here...
Continue Reading

Chairman Mao’s Underground City

From Vice:

In 1969, Chairman Mao commanded the construction of a second Beijing beneath the surface of the original city, designed to accommodate all six million of its then inhabitants so that if nuclear war did kick off, folk would still have somewhere to hang out and play Mah Jong while the rest of us burnt to death in a shower of atomic rain. War never came, but the city is still there.


Check it out…


Read the rest

Continue Reading