China: Foreign Embassy should stop publishing China’s air quality information

Vice minister of Ministry of Environmental Protection Wu Xiaoqing (吴晓青) said at a press conference that foreign embassies and consulates should respect the relevant laws and regulations in China and stop publishing China’s PM2.5 data on the Internet.

At the press conference hosted by the Information Office of State Council, Wu noted that the air quality monitoring and data publishing works are involved in social and public interests, the data publishing authority belongs to the Government. For those foreign embassies and consulates, it’s inconsistent with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations to monitor and publish air quality information on the Internet.

“First, it is unscientific to evaluate regional air quality by monitoring data from a single point; second, to evaluate the hourly air condition by using the daily average value does not meet the technical specifications of monitoring, the sample does not reflect the air quality of the entire city,” said Wu Xiaoqing.

In 2009 the U.S. embassy in Beijing set up an air monitoring station to observe the situation of air pollution in Beijing. The aggregated data has been published on Twitter @BeijingAir since then.