President Moon Jae-in’s proposal for joint Sino-Korean projects to deal with the fine dust pollution, which choked Korea throughout the past week, is getting a lackluster response from China.
On March 6 Moon talked about collaboration with China to use artificial rain to clean the air at a time when the country is suffering from the worst ultra-fine particulate pollution since the government began to compile data. As far as artificial rainmaking is concerned, China has advanced technology and know-how.
While making the proposal, Moon hinted that China was at least partially responsible for the pollution, according to some observers.
It is not sure whether he tried to point the finger at China but that is what the Chinese government apparently feels _ just five hours after Moon made the remarks, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang downplayed them.
Lu said that joint efforts are “fine,” but downplayed links for Seoul’s worsening air conditions to China.
“I don’t know whether Seoul has any basis that its fine dust comes from China,” Lu said. “Its cause is extremely complicated.”
He added that over the past two days, Beijing’s sky was quite clear, in comments designed to argue that China was not responsible for Korea’s worst-ever smog this month.
Controversy continues over the cause of the dust with many Koreans believing that a big portion comes from China, something Beijing flatly denies. Some in China even argued that fine dust from Korea was being blown toward China and blanketing its eastern regions.
Of note is that a state-backed Korean institute released a report stating that the smog being experienced in Korea was mostly blown in from China.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government Research Institute of Public Health and Environment said on March 6 that China was responsible for more than 70 percent of the recent fine dust pollution.