The rapid development of China is a barrel of honey for the Chinese citizens and the government of China. Blatant level of air pollution in the Chinese cities is a spoon of tar in that barrel. According to the recent estimates, most harmful PM 2.5 particles cause horrific number (> 1 million people) of premature deaths in China per year. Some countries have population count far below this horrible number. To protect the health of their citizens, Chinese government has introduced the stringiest Clean Air plan in 2013. The group of scientists from China led by Yixuan Zheng have assessed the effects of this plan in the decrease of PM2.5 particles and most importantly in saving the lives by avoiding premature mortality. On the downside (as always when policies are introduced), the results from the measures are beneficial but far from being promising. Premature mortality goes down at slower pace than aerosols do. So far, these stringent policies are more efficient in reducing aerosol particles than saving human lives from premature deaths.
link to study: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa8a32
first author: Yixuan Zheng (Tsinghua University, Beijing)