South Island City Tops Air Quality

With its lush tropical weather, Hainan Island has always been a hot tourist destination during the Chinese Spring Festival. But this year a new attraction has been added: cleaner air.

As soon as they step off the plane, visitors are audibly impressed by the fresh smell.

Sources with China Environmental Monitoring Center say that Haikou, provincial capital city of Hainan, reported excellent air for more than 300 days last year.

The record is atop the 47 cities monitored by the center, including the four municipalities of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing, provincial or autonomous regional capitals, and major cities in economically developed coastal areas, and tourist attractions.

The pollution reading in Hainan was only one-fourth the figure of average northern industrial cities.

The local environmental protection bureau attributes the clean air to Hainan's location in an area frequented by typhoons. In addition, efforts by the government to improve the environment have helped, such as closure of pollution-heavy factories, and programs to treat auto emission and use cleaner gas.

( China Daily February 14, 2002)

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