• Jun 18, 2006

The growth in automotive sales in China is unlike anything the world has previously experienced, and as a result, Chinese government officials continue to have difficulty determining the role that motor vehicles should play. Beijing, for example, recently lifted most regulations on car usage, but the congestion and pollution are bad enough to make the city's major consider putting strict regulations back in place before the 2008 Summer Olympics come to town.The growth in automotive sales in China is unlike anything the world has previously experienced, and as a result, Chinese government officials continue to have difficulty determining the role that motor vehicles should play. Beijing, for example, recently lifted most regulations on car usage, but the congestion and pollution are bad enough to make the city's mayor consider putting strict regulations back in place before the 2008 Summer Olympics come to town.

In general, China's central planners have to walk a tightrope, carefully balancing the economic boom caused by car sales against the dramatically increased pollution, traffic congestion, and oil demand that has come with them. And the problem is not going to get any easier to solve as time goes on; there is only 1 car for every 50 people in China right now, and the total number of vehicles on the road is expected to grow by 400% in the next 15 years.

Coming soon will be air-quality rules expected to be comparable to those in Western countries (if not even more strict), and higher gas prices, road-use fines, and improved mass transit systems are being suggested as ways to minimize traffic slowdowns.

[Source: Pittsburg Post-Gazette]



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  • 6 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      How many New Yorkers drive in Manhatton or Tokyo people drive in the Ginza area?
      What is the meaning of owning a car in Beijing.
      The answer is: "show off"!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't think it's $1 per gallon, it's more like $1 per liter. Riding a bicycle in Beijing won't take you far and it's not very safe. With the rise of the taxi fees, you can't blame them for owning a car. I spent 1/3 of my salary just on taxi... I think they should go Greek style, allow even license plate #s to drive on MWF and odd #s drive on TuThF and allow everyone to drive on Sundays.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Problem is that right now China is subsidizing gas prices to the tune of around a dollar a gallon. Until it shows itself capable of doing that, it is difficult to expect much else from them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ahhh, there communist this will be easy for them to solve!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't think Chairman Mao's even conceived this in his worse nightmare.

      Neal Saferstein
      • 8 Years Ago
      emissions regulations makes all the difference.
      I've lived in areas where many people drive old cars, and I've lived in areas where people drive new cars. The air quality is a huge improvement in areas dominated by new cars.