China trip – 2. Beijing’s industrial aftertaste

Walking around Beijing, the sights of this massive city is everything is huge.   Very quickly I realised one China’s most biggest challenges in society.   In the middle east, I am used to political instability and the threat of war of neighbours.

DSCF9431 1024

In Beijing, the number one concern is pollution.

DSCF9430 1024

The government has taken the drastic step of forcing old and polluting cars off the road.

The thing that surprised me was Beijing doesn’t immediately seem to have many poor people.   I am sure they are, they seem to live in other districts of the city.   Ancient cars like the ones I saw in Morocco and Turkey simply don’t exist.  People on low incomes simply don’t have cars, they have bikes and scooters, which I’ll explain later come in lots of unconventional styles.  I think much of China’s manufacturing is in another city, as I didn’t see any obvious factories belching out smoke.

Pollution in Beijing means local people have an app on the phone that tells you the toxicity of the air and in some cases, people might not go out at all, and many people are wearing face masks.

My observations with pollution were the skyline in the distance was a murky brown colour, and on my first night sleeping meant I have a funny taste in my mouth.

1. Introduction

3. A few million bicycles in Beijing