Guizhou to make 'fresh canned air' to boost tourism after Xi Jinping comments

The launch came just weeks after Xi made exactly the same suggestion in a conversation with Guizhou delegates during the annual Chinese People’s Congress session in early March in Beijing

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 March, 2014, 12:09pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 March, 2014, 12:09pm

Tourism authorities in China’s southwestern Guizhou province announced on Thursday plans to manufacture canned fresh air as part of a larger scheme to promote the southwestern region’s tourism, according to the bureau's official website.

The launch came just weeks after Xi made the suggestion in a conversation with delegates from Guizhou during the annual Chinese People’s Congress meeting in Beijing earlier this month. 

In a discussion session with Xi, Guizhou governor Chen Min'er said Guizhou's average PM2.5 index was under 50, an indication of the province's impressive air quality.

Xi then commented that “air quality is now a deciding factor in people’s perception of happiness,” and suggested that Guizhou “sell air cans in the future,” according to Chinese media reports.

Guizhou is economically undeveloped compared to many coastal provinces, even its neighbouring Sichuan. The province is known for its beautiful scenery and is also rich in natural and environmental resources.

Fu Yingchun, head of Guizhou’s tourism bureau, told Chinese press on Thursday that cans will be sold as souvenirs to tourists. He said he was confident the "canned fresh air" campaign will succeed.

Guizhou officials are not the first Chinese to attempt to cash in on fresh air as pollution affects other major cities, including the Chinese capital.

Chinese multimillionaire and high-profile philanthropist Chen Guangbiao, in an environment campaign last year, handed out soda pop-sized cans of air on the streets of Beijing. He said the canned air was from pristine regions such as Xinjiang.

Tourism officials from the southern Fujian province also showcased "canned fresh Fujian air" when they went on a promotion trip in Beijing this month.

The news of Guizhou's canned air plan received a lukewarm reaction on Weibo, China's twitter-like service on Friday. 

"We want fresh air, not canned air," one microblogger wrote. 

"What a joke," another wrote, "These officials should resign."