Should hazy Beijing emulate polluted Delhi?
Ever since I relocated to China from India in September last year, a recurring theme in my chats with friends and ex-colleagues back home has been the similarities and differences between the two countries, especially between Beijing and New Delhi (or Mumbai).
Usually, I go gaga over Beijing’s enviable amenities and advanced infrastructure, such as roads, efficient public transport systems; humongous hypermarkets, malls and shopping centers; the wide range of personal twowheelers and commercial electric three-wheelers, and so on. To drive home my point, occasionally I hurl some facts and figures.
Arguments ensue. As
This Day, That Year
ItemfromDec19,1981,in ChinaDaily:Aformergovernmentemployee,who startedanopen-airteahouse inBeijingtohelpyoungpeoplewaitingforjobs,hasbuilt uptheenterprisewithintwo yearsintoaprosperouschain of13stores....
To work as a public servant in government sectors is still a dream job for young graduates nowadays. Nearly 1 million people took this year’s National Civil Service Exam, or Guokao, on Nov 27, at more than 900 centers nationwide.
The Ministry of Human debates get heated, the other side sometimes loses its cool, and labels me (in jest, of course) a traitor, or accuses me of being in love with a local Chinese woman and hence switching loyalties.
Until three decades back, China and India were considered emerging markets, economically backward and comparable, and way behind the West. Now, the gap between the two countries has widened enormously.
In a recent online chat, when I discussed the possibility of India catching up, or even overtaking, China, a prolific economic analyst in Mumbai, whose articles are published by the likes of the BBC, asked me, half in jest and half in admonishment, if I was high on weed.
Yet, there are some aspects where China and India, and Beijing and New Delhi, still remain comparable.
Of course, both are capital cities. Both are grappling Resources and Social Security said about 984,000 people sat the five-hour exam while 1.48 million registered for it.
The exam has been held annually since 1994, to select employees for the central government and its affiliated institutions.
Since there are only about 27,000 positions available this year, just one out of every 36 candidates stands to get a job.
The State Administration of Taxation’s branches nationwide seemed to be the most desired employer, with its offices in Guangdong, with the persistent problem of air pollution. Both have been trying out various remedies (restrictions on vehicle use, and so on).
On Tuesday, two news items suggested both cities are mulling fresh measures to combat air pollution.
I’m afraid my friends back home will likely get a chance now to have a go at me. That’s because New Delhi’s planned attempt is at once remarkable and innovative, whereas Beijing appears to be caught in a rut of worn-out ideas.
First, Beijing’s way: The city’s Environmental Protection Bureau is considering a ban on the use of trucks that transport coal, and may request the nearest port city Tianjin to close its coal storage facilities.
Now, New Delhi’s way: An extract from a BBC dispatch perhaps best captures the audacious measure. “Sometime next year … a retired jet engine will be mounted on a Shandong and Sichuan provinces attracting more than 29,000 candidates each.
Government posts have long been perceived by the Chinese as secure, lifelong jobs with stable pay and good benefits.
However, some potential applicants have said that the central government’s antigraft campaign, launched in flatbed trailer and taken to a coal-fired power plant in Delhi … With the exhaust nozzle pointed at the sky, the engine will be placed near the smokestack and turned on … The exhaust will create powerful updrafts that will, to put it simply, blast the emissions from the plant to higher altitudes ... The jet exhaust will act as a ‘virtual chimney’, drawing in and transporting the smog … A single jet engine can deal with emissions from a 1,000megawatt power plant.”
Whether or not the untested method would prove effective is a moot point. What’s admirable is the local government’s relentless pursuit of out-ofthe-box solutions, something that Beijing could emulate, given the current emphasis on innovation and the fact that 63 percent of the days in November did not have good air.
ful Olympic diver with five gold medals from four consecutive Games, and was China’s top multiOlympic champion. Wu was named Female Athlete of the Year at the Laureus China Sport Award on the same day.
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org 2013, has put them off.
Last year, a report issued by the recruitment website zhaopin said more than 10,000 public sector employees had submitted resumes to potential employers in just two months.
That was 34 percent higher than the number who sought jobs during the same period in 2014, the report said.