The Ministry of Environmental Protection in China (MEP), tries to create a modern regulatory system that is based on independent monitoring of the data and the rule of law, but the system could affect the ruling role of the Communist Party that wants to maintain social stability in the country.
The Chinese government is worried that the unauthorized sources of information on pollution levels could undermine the official data that are showing that the environment and the air quality is improving.
Origins Technology is the producer of the Laser Egg, which is a handheld pollution monitor sold in Beijing’s Apple store, and through the voice of its CEO, Liam Bates, says that the authorities are not against the people who are monitoring the quality of the air that they breathe, but are against the fact of making these data public.
So, we are talking about censorship here, the Chinese authorities don’t agree with the fact that the public is monitoring the quality of the air because these kind of alternative data may show that the official data are not so accurate.
Actually, the Chinese government wants to hide the fact that they are not truly engaged in the fight against pollution because the developing economy requires huge amounts of cheap energy that can produce only by burning coal.
To block the unauthorized data, the authorities say that is illegal to publish data from non-official sources.
So, if you have a handheld monitor that can measure the level of pollution in your area, you can’t make public the data shown by your device because the tool used is not official. This is actually a censorship on the right to free expression, and is specific to the communist countries.
To understand the level of censorship in China, a citizen was recently detained by police for five days in Chengdu (southwest China) after posting on his Weibo microblog the announcement that “China is facing the heaviest smog in its 2,000-year history”. The authorities have called his action as “rumor mongering” made by individuals.
Regulators have named an air pollution monitoring app that spread rumors related to the fact that in December 2016, Chengdu was the third most polluted city in the world.
In reality, China tries to develop its economy up to the level of the western countries because only this way they can become a superpower in the world.
Sadly, their lust for world dominance affects the health of their citizens, and the entire world because the wind is moving the smog toward the neighboring countries. -EnvironmentSA