@alien Did you mean to say Kunming is at 1000 meters or have I misunderstood you? It's actually nearer 2000 meters. The internet says it's just shy of 1900 meters and my GPS tells me I'm at 1940 meters - admittedly I'm up a hill near the top of a tower block.
As to air quality, my feeling is it's getting a lot worse. Last week I returned from a trip to Beijing where the air is much improved. If anything the air seemed worse here. Just subjective I know but too many cars, too much construction and all those huge trucks carting the earth away must be having an effect.
@cloudtrapezer: my sloppy typing, I meant to say that Kunming is around 2000 meters - still, not a serious altitude.
Beijing either has amazing air or 800api air. Just depends on the winds and if some international or local conference is going on and they force off all the surrounding factories.
In fairness, Beijing air quality improvements have been a topic in the international press over the last year. Yes, Beijing used to have to close down industries for big events, to ensure good air, but a lot of that industry has relocated, with new factories replacing older dirtier plants.
Everyone should chill out a bit. Life in general kills you naturally, if not before. Accepting this fact will make you much happier. Everything we consume is killing us softly...no matter how high we are
Not sure by what you mean by used to. My friend in Beijing still says the practice is quite common still for international conferences and sometimes for October, depending on the mood. Also, there is no clean replacement for the nearby steel, cement, and coal fired plants in surrounding Hebei, except to order outright closures, which they did quite a bit of at the start of this year. But going forward air quality should continue to improve with exceptional days being even more exceptional like 20api, but there are still going to be 800 API days for Beijing, thanks to its hit or miss winds either blowing clear pollution, not blowing, or blowing in a dust storm.