02/25/2014, 00.00
Send to a friend

For Chinese military, smog is the best defence against US laser weapons and missiles

by Wang Zhicheng
Bloggers react to China's new national defence tool with a heavy dose of irony. Every year, China reports 1.2 million premature deaths due to pollution. Yesterday, pollution levels in Beijing were eight times higher than normal. For some people, it is "airpocalypse" now.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Beijing's terrible smog, which covers the city in a dark cloud days on end grounding planes and forcing the elderly and children indoors, is the best defence against laser weapons on US naval ships.

On a national TV show, Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong made the puzzling statement, noting that lasers were "most afraid of smog".

Chinese blogs have been flooded with excerpts from the interview and comments slamming the admiral for seeing an upside to one of the country's worst problems.

In December, pro-government newspaper Global Times tried to put a positive spin on smog saying that it can thwart missile attacks and hamper hostile reconnaissance.

But such views have not had the desired effect.  "Are you saying the smog is not air pollution, but a national defence measure?" a blogger said on Sina Weibo microblog.

"Enemies wouldn't need to resort to missile attacks if the smog continues to increase - people will simply be poisoned to death," another dejected reader said.

For most of the past week, northeastern China has been under severe smog, the worst this winter, with some describing it as "airpocalypse".

Yesterday, Beijing issued an orange alert, requiring construction sites to stop their activities and industrial plants to cut output by at least 30 per cent.

Schools and kindergartens cannot hold activities outside and residents are asked to go outdoors only if necessary and always wearing a mask.

Yesterday, PM2.5 levels hit 270 according to China's Ministry of Environmental Protection; however, the US Embassy reported 405 micrograms per cubic metre as a more credible reading.

According to the World Health Organisation, a normal PM2.5 level should be around 50.

According to medical journal The Lancet, there are 1.2 million premature deaths each year in China due to air pollution.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Israel plans a laser wall against rocket and drone attacks
02/02/2022 15:35
China sends 38 warplanes into Taiwan’s Air Defence Zone
02/10/2021 12:36
Air pollution kills 10,000 people in Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong
Older than Angkor, the first Khmer capital, the lost city of Mahendraparvata, is found
China not competing with the United States in arms and energy


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”