Austin's management team said the 63-year-old singer had been treated in a hospital Friday morning for an asthma attack in combination with a respiratory infection. She returned to her hotel later Friday to rest, but was unable to perform at her Beijing concert scheduled for Friday evening. Her Saturday night concert in Shanghai went ahead.
Her manager, Barry Orms, said Monday that Austin, as an asthma sufferer, would have been "affected by the amount of pollution." He said that it wasn't their goal to place blame, and that "Patti has expressed our belief that the Chinese government can be a leader in this very important issue."
On the morning ahead of her concert Friday, Beijing's air was visibly polluted, with the city's environmental monitoring center warning children, the elderly and those with respiratory illnesses to reduce outdoor activity.
China's major cities have some of the world's worst smog. The government was long indifferent to the environment as it pursued economic development, but has begun launching some anti-pollution initiatives after mounting public frustration.
Last month, China's Cabinet released an action plan that aims to make a small reduction in the country's heavy reliance on coal to below 65 percent of total energy usage by 2017. According to Chinese government statistics, coal consumption accounted for 68.4 percent of total energy use in 2011.
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