Mar 10, 2021 07:40 PM

Heavy Smog Hits Beijing During Two Sessions

What’s new: Beijing has issued a severe air pollution warning as heavy smog hits the Chinese capital during the ongoing annual political meetings known as the “Two Sessions.“

According to the latest data released by national environmental monitoring station, the Chinese capital is expecting to see a wave of smog on Wednesday and Thursday, resulting in moderate to severe air pollution. The government has warned the general public to avoid unnecessary travel and wear masks.

The weather in Beijing is expected to improve slightly Friday due to an incoming cold front and precipitation, but the overall air quality will stay poor until Monday, when the smog will lift as diffusion conditions move in.

What’s more: According to a national lab on air pollution and control at the Ministry of Environment and Ecology, the smog is caused by an accumulation of particles less than or equal to 2.5 microns in diameter, giving rise to the term PM2.5.

PM2.5 can stay in the atmosphere for a long time and absorb a variety of harmful substances, which can easily be inhaled deep into the respiratory tract, endangering human health.

Among the sources of PM2.5 concentration, Beijing’s local transmission contribution accounts for 35%, while the remaining 65% is from surrounding regions including Shandong, Hebei and Henan provinces, according to the national lab.

Why it matters: The air pollution comes as the nation’s top lawmakers and political advisors are gathering in Beijing for annual meetings to review and approve the country’s roadmap of economic targets and social development tasks for the next five years, including drawing up an action plan to achieve peak carbon emissions by 2030 and swift reductions in subsequent years.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact editor Heather Mowbray (

Read more about Caixin’s coverage on the Two Sessions 2021.

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