Beijing’s leaders put in place the maximum possible measures to ensure their capital’s skies were clean for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit from November 5 to November 11, 2014. The sky in Beijing did turn blue (called APEC blue in China) for a few days until November 10, when smog crept back again. Beijing then exercised its final step to "monitor" the air pollution by censoring the data of the PM2.5 danger level on the U.S. Embassy website in Beijing, which would have showed “unhealthy” if not censored. On the evening of November 10 (air pollution data censorship night), Beijing staged massive fireworks displays. The launching devices were placed in the range of a radius of 2.5 km to entertain foreign leaders.
During the APEC summit, almost every area of ordinary Chinese people’s daily lives were affected:
- Factories were closed and/or restrictions were placed on manufacturing in six provinces.
- No heat was provided or allowed for ordinary people in Beijing and Tianjin. Even gas for cooking ran out because the large vehicles that were used for gas delivery were restricted. Fresh milk delivery also stopped.
- Half of Beijing’s cars (single or double digits of license plates in turn) were barred from the streets in Beijing.
- Burning was absolutely illegal including no frying fritters outdoors and no burning of funeral incense, straws, leaves, or waste in Beijing and in the surrounding areas. One guard was placed on duty for every 100 mu of land (1 mu = 66,666.67 square meters) and stood ready to extinguish any possible flames in Baoding city.
- One week of mandatory holidays was put in place and schools were closed.
- Six cities and provinces held daily air quality and monitoring meetings during the APEC period. If any companies did not take enough action to ensure the sky was blue, the responsible leaders were punished, detained and/or fined.
Source: Cankaoxiaoxi, Epoch Times, Hong Kong Economic Journal Instant News, Radio Free Asia and Huanqiu, October 30 – November 12, 2014