Beijing’s rationing electricity not an approach for the whole of China to emulate
Published: Oct 02, 2021 08:53 PM
Beijing CBD Photo:VCG

Beijing CBD Photo:VCG

Beijing has proposed to suspend the city's light show and shortened the time of the city's  landscape lighting at night. I believe it makes sense for Beijing to launch this initiative now, whether this is because of Beijing's power supply shortage or a response to the power shortages in Northeast China and other places. 

Meanwhile, as a media person, I strongly advocate that other major Chinese cities do not need to follow Beijing's suit for the sake of "political correctness," unless they really need to do so due to local power supply issues.

Saving electricity should be a long-term policy for all regions. But landscape lighting should not be regarded as a luxury in modern cities. It contributes to the vitality of the night-time economy, and also helps to highlight a city's character and enhance citizens' desire for consumption and sense of happiness. It is a standard feature for modern cities to participate in international competition.

Beijing is the capital of China. When residents in other areas encounter difficulties regarding electricity consumption, it gives positive political meaning for Beijing to reduce its landscape lighting and advocate for energy-saving office work. However, what other cities should do is another thing: make full use of their energy to promote consumption and maximize the vitality of the urban economy. That is the positive contribution to the coordinated national response.

After all, only a small part of residents' electricity consumption is affected in the whole country. The government should solve the problem as soon as possible, but there is no need for other cities to reduce electricity consumption and express sympathy by tightening their belts. I don't think this is what a "coordinated national response" means. 

But indeed, perhaps I was overly concerned. Other cities would not intend to politically emulate Beijing's approach, but would rationally arrange electricity use according to their actual conditions. Seeking truth from facts and adapting measures to local conditions is the attitude that is most worth advocating for.

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn