BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Despite China's ambitions and efforts to build itself into a beautiful country, residents and travellers in Beijing have been subjected to excessively bad air quality in recent days.
For three consecutive days up to Sunday, Beijing was choked in dense smog. The municipal environmental authorities said air pollution in the capital hit dangerous levels: readings for PM2.5, airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, reached more than 700 micrograms per cubic meter at some monitoring stations, and as high as 993at others, on Saturday evening.
The problem was not limited to Beijing -- the haze also spread to regions surrounding the city and some parts of northern, eastern and central China, forming a "pollutant belt" shrouding much of the entire country.
Some citizens joked that the smoggy weather provided a "romantic" atmosphere where "I can surely feel you, but can not see you."
But people can not sincerely be happy about such "breath-taking" phenomena, as health experts have warned that the polluted air will cause increased risks of respiratory and cardiovascular troubles.
Also in jeopardy are the efforts of the Communist Party of China and government authorities to advance ecological progress and their new promise to build a "beautiful China."
A country with a brown sky and hazardous air is obviously not beautiful.
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