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Taiwan urges neighbors to jointly address air pollution problem

2017/12/12 18:37:06

CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 12 (CNA) Taiwan's government on Tuesday urged China to take the issue of air pollution seriously and help to resolve the problem of haze in the region.

In winter, the air pollution in Taiwan gets worse because the strong northeast monsoon and high pressure systems from Mongolia usually bring pollutants, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said.

In Kinmen and Matsu islands, for example, there are no big factories or power plants but those islands are almost always covered in haze in winter because of their proximity to mainland China, Hsu said, calling on Beijing to take the problem seriously.

"Everyone should come forward to resolve the haze problem that is affecting the entire region, including Japan and South Korea," he said. "Let's all join hands."

Hsu said it is unfair to blame the coal-fueled Taichung Power Plant for the high levels of air pollution over Taiwan because China is in fact the source.

He was responding to public criticisms that the government's nuclear-free policy, which aims to make Taiwan a nuclear-free homeland by 2025, has resulted in higher air pollution levels because the coal-fired power plant in central Taiwan is forced to run at full capacity to meet the country's electricity demand.

(By Ku Chuan and Elizabeth Hsu)