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China Tries To Cover Up The Country's Smog Issue? Critics Think So

First Posted: Jan 19, 2017 05:53 AM EST
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Reports show that China has been under a series of smog issues. However, the Chinese local weather bureaus have been ordered to stop issuing alerts for smog.

Sun Daily reported that an internal memo was posted on China's Twitter-like social media platform called Weibo. It stated that China's Meteorological Administration local bureaus said last Tuesday to "immediately stop issuing smog alerts."

The state media reported that there are some disagreements between the Chinese environmental protection ministry and local authority forecast. Hence, the removal of the warning alert is needed. However, the move has created a criticism that the government just wanted to cover up the scale country's air pollution.

As follows, one commentator online wrote on Weibo that, "Before, they cheated us separately, and now, they are going to cheat us together." And another one also replied, "Even though they are working on a unified alert standard, they should not stop the existing alert system."

The smog has been in the headlines and topics of debate in the country for nearly three years since the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, declared a "war on pollution." To warn the public, a three-level color coded system was used. The color starts from yellow for the least severe up to red for the top level.

However, Sky News reported that the certainty of the smog alert system is debated online regularly. The public is questioning discrepancies between alerts issued by the different authorities in different locations.

The internal memo stated that the county and city authorities may continue to release fog alerts for low visibility.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Bejing issued its highest fog alert after the city was covered in thick smog for a couple of days. The flights, ports and schools are disrupted. However, the Chinese capital only issued "orange" warning it is the second to the highest level for smog. It led some people to ask whether the application of the warning was an attempt to cover up pollution information.

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