Cities across northern China maintained air-pollution measures on Monday after issuing a series of red alerts over the weekend, signaling a new willingness to pay an economic price for cleaner air, according to The Wall Street Journal. Environmentalists said the government’s response was better coordinated and more effective than last December, when the government waited until several days into a bout of heavy smog, and endured a public uproar, before calling its highest-level pollution alert. In Beijing, 1,200 enterprises had to halt or reduce production and the city’s normally bustling streets were oddly quiet over the weekend as half the cars were ordered off the roads. Many people in China have begun to rethink the value of a clean environment after decades of accepting pollution as the price of progress.
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