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Beijing Smog: Amazing Contrast Picture Shows Pollution Covering Tiananmen Square (PICTURES)

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The difference between this photo of Beijing's most famous landmark on a clear summer's day, now shrouded in filthy smog is a stark portrayal of the record-breaking toxic pollution blanketing China's capital.

The air pollution hit a record earlier this month, with pollution 45 times the recommended safety levels, causing widespread public outrage, grounded flights and leaving many with health problems housebound.

beijing extreme pollution

Beijing's mayor Wang Anshun has promised action including restrictions on car sales and legislation to take 180,000 old vehicles, which churn out noxious gases, off the road.

Coal-boilers will be dumped in favour of new clean energy solutions, he promised, adding: "We will speed up the construction of a beautiful city with blue skies, green earth and clean water."

But these plans have also incensed many of the city's citizens, arguing the measures will hit Beijing's poorest, who drive the old cars, and use the coal-burners.

Reuters reported that expats had begun to dub the city "Greyjing" or "Beige-jing".

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