I also live in Beijing and at the present time, see no reason to be worried. Beijing is a long way from the Japanese reactor zone, and this time of year, the prevailing winds are from the northwest and west....meaning China is blowing stuff (like sandstorms) to Japan, not the other way around. Probably wouldn't go out of my way to plan a transpacific airline routing through Japan, though.
I can't presume to speak to what the Chinese government is worried about in the immediate future beyond the following:
--repatriating Chinese nationals in the Japan danger zones;
--screening or even limiting food products coming from Japan;
--putting a moratorium on new nuclear power plants in China, pending additional review.
Longer range, who knows what will happen?
The Chinese Gov't (according to the BBC, Le Figaro and the NY Times) is currently worried about the winds that are presently blowing from the SouthEast towards China. The first, extremely mild radioactivity, is expected to arrive in China in about 3 days time. China is particularly worried about what will be happening next, and while I wouldn't advise people to leave, I am wondering how people fell about going, especially if waiting an extra week would have very few consequences.
The US Embassy in Japan advises that "... The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recommends that U.S. citizens who live within 50 miles (80 km) of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant evacuate the area or take shelter indoors if safe evacuation is not practical."
Beijing is much more than 80km from the disaster area. Much much more.
The US embassy in Beijing does not even mention anything about it.
Please stop fearmongering. Your post is an incorrect interpretation and paraphrasing of what the Chinese gov't said. Sometimes the best thing to do, when you have nothing of substance and accuracy to offer the situation, is to just be silent.
I do not agree with the last statement. What happens in Japan can turn into a huge disaster for the Asian region, and it Istherefor important that travelers keep themselves informed.
It is not only about radiation in Beijing. For the time being that does not seem a problem. But radioactive material might get into the food chain, if it reaches the mainland of china. And as we all have seen with the milk scandal, the government is not always in control of that food chain.
But as said, for the time being there is no need to fear. I'm now in the south of china and will head to Beijing next week. I will follow the developments, but see no reason yet to change my plans.Edited: 18 March 2011, 02:13
The biggest nuclear disaster was Chernobyl (as I understand this one is not as bad yet). Chernobyl is 90km from Kiev. Kiev is 1780km from Amsterdam. I don't recall a big panic or any disaster in Amsterdam or the UK or France.
I am traveling to Seoul in 2 weeks (1155km from Tokyo) and no intent to change plans yet.
People here wrongly believe that salt will save them. We now have a salt shortage in Beijing. Look at these photos: …wenxuecity.com/messages/201103/news-gb2312-…
JPDem it isn't just in China. Some Chinese people here are hoarding salt too due to their belief that the radiation will contaminate the ocean. So not just salt but shark fin/abalone etc.
Doesn't most of the salt come from salt mines in any case?
Chernobyl at the time had a impact on the food chain here in holland. It was not allowed to sell fresh vegetables and fruit anymore if it hadn't been checked.
This is because radio active particals can carry very far through the air. It is like sahara sand that every now and then comes down with rain fall in northern Europe.
Eating food that is contaminated is a problem, because it stays in your body.
Radiation itself from the source is not a problem at those distances.