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Beijing Issues Another Red Alert for Smog

  • VOA News

FILE - Visitors, some wearing masks to protect themselves from pollutants, share a light moment as they take a selfie at the Jingshan Park on a polluted day in Beijing, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015.

FILE - Visitors, some wearing masks to protect themselves from pollutants, share a light moment as they take a selfie at the Jingshan Park on a polluted day in Beijing, Monday, Dec. 7, 2015.

Warning of a dangerous wave of incoming smog, Chinese authorities on Friday issued their second ever red alert for pollution in the capital, Beijing.

Forecasters expect the cloud of smog to hover over much of northern China from Saturday until Tuesday, and say pollution levels reach more than 20 times the safe limit.

Under a red alert, schools and some factories are closed, and half of all private cars will be pulled from the street. All outdoor construction will also be halted.

"I'm actually very concerned," said 34-year-old Beijing resident Cheng Xianke. "I'm concerned about the rather large impact it will have on elderly people and children, because children want to go out to play… For us who commute to work it's not so bad, but still I'm very concerned about the pollution. I think the government needs to put more effort into solving this."

Beijing, in northern China

Beijing, in northern China

Beijing issued its first-ever red alert earlier this month as part of efforts to stem public criticism over its inability to control a rampant pollution problem.

China is one of the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gasses, due to numerous coal-fired plants that have fueled its rise as a global economic superpower.

The Chinese government has vowed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and was supportive of the recently global climate change deal reached in Paris.

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