BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- At the beginning of this year, just before the annual gathering of Chinese lawmakers and political advisors, an area of more than 1 million square km in east China was blanketed by heavy smog.
In the capital city of Beijing, only five days were free of the hazardous weather phenomenon in January, with repeatedly higher-than-normal readings of PM2.5, fine particulate matter that is 2.5 microns or less in diameter.
Moreover, the quality of China's underground water is also reportedly worsening. According to a survey by the Ministry of Land and Resources, over 60 percent of Chinese cities boasted of underground water supplies of Class 1 to Class 3 during 2000 and 2002.
In 2011, however, underground water supplies in 55 percent of Chinese cities were labeled as "poor" or "very poor."
After more than 30 years of rapid development, China has become the second largest economy in the world. But its economic achievements have also been shadowed by heave pollution, a thorny issue worse than ever before.
In the meantime, the world is keeping a keen eye on China's development and environmental issues, which used to affect a number of countries during their process of industrialization and urbanization.
In the 1800s, the British capital of London was called "the City of Fog" due to its heavy smog caused by coal burning. But now, it has become a model of pollution control for other big cities in the world.
Japan also learned a lesson from an outbreak of the so-called "four public nuisance diseases," including Minamata and itai-itai, caused by environmental pollution during its economic take-off in the 1950s.
The two countries have not only brought environmental pollution under control, but also cleared obstacles in a path of sustainable development.
They set a good example for other countries in economic development and environmental protection. Otherwise, a nation will likely be led to a vicious circle if its environment and economy deteriorate and negatively affect each other.
Dwight Perkins, a professor at Harvard University, said heavy pollution is a serious issue which will slow down development.
Mexico City, as a typical case in "Hispanicization" that has failed to get out of the middle-income trap so far, is one of the most polluted cities in the world.
Against the backdrop of globalization, environment has become an issue that draws regional and international attention.
In the face of air and water pollution and greenhouse gas that can move and cross border to neighboring countries, China and other nations in the world have become a community that shares common interests and destinies.
Therefore, it is a desire for both China and the international community to enhance environmental pollution control, as well as energy saving and emission reduction.
Amid decreasing global energy resources and a worsening trend of climate change, the world keeps a close eye on China whether the largest developing country, with a population of 1.3 billion, can make greater contributions to safeguarding the Earth for the human being or not.
In fact, China has always attached importance to environmental and ecological issues.
In November last year, a new idea on environmental protection was put forward in a keynote report at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, showing the country's determination to fundamentally resolve the issue of environmental pollution.
Building a beautiful China conforms to the sustainable development of both the Chinese nation and mankind. Countries around the world hope for not only benefits and common prosperity from the country's development, but also a beautiful China that is conducive to the global environment.