Beijing chokes on dense smog as China’s political heavyweights meet

  • Capital issues orange alert as delegates arrive for one of the year’s biggest gatherings
  • All construction must stop, and elderly and children advised to stay indoors

News

Beijing chokes on dense smog as China’s political heavyweights meet

3 Mar 2019

An orange pollution alert will stay in place in Beijing throughout Sunday and Monday. Photo: AFP
An orange pollution alert will stay in place in Beijing throughout Sunday and Monday. Photo: AFP

Heavy smog blanketed Beijing on Sunday as thousands of delegates started arriving in the Chinese capital for one of the annual highlights on the country’s political calendar.

The pollution descended on Friday night, prompting authorities on Saturday to issue an orange alert, the second-highest smog warning in the four-tier system.

The alert – which advises elderly people and children to stay indoors – will remain in place throughout Sunday, the first day of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and Monday.

Conditions are expected to improve by Tuesday, when the National People’s Congress starts.

“Due to bad weather, there will be heavy regional pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region that will persist and affect a large area,” the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre said.

Under the orange alert, all construction work in the city must stop, some factories have to halt production, and all fireworks and outdoor barbecues are banned.

A Chinese paramilitary police officer patrols in front of the Great Hall of the People on Saturday on the eve of the opening session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing. Photo: AFP
A Chinese paramilitary police officer patrols in front of the Great Hall of the People on Saturday on the eve of the opening session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing. Photo: AFP
Source: SCMP
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