Beijing is taking Draconian measures to clean up for the Olympic Games which start next month. In the past week, 300,000 high-emission or yellow-labeled vehicles, mainly freight trucks, have been banned from the city until Sept. 20 to ensure a “green” Olympics.
Du Shaozhong, deputy director of the Beijing municipal environmental protection bureau, announced the auto restrictions in an attempt to ensure acceptable air quality for the Olympic athletes. Beijing residents are familiar with such bans–during conferences and for periodic “blue sky” days–but how they will cope with such a long-term ban is difficult to imagine.
Another concern of the clean-up was revealed two weeks ago when the Chinese authorities revoked licenses for three pharmaceutical manufacturers, punishing 125 other companies (mainly retail pharmacies) for making, selling or distributing performance-enhancing drugs.