Another hazy day for Beijing residents - the result of a sandstorm which aggravates poor air quality in the Chinese capital.
Tags:china sandstorm,reuters,congress,xi jinping
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Another hazy day for Beijing residents - the result of a sandstorm which aggravates poor air quality in the Chinese capital. Some have taken to wearing masks to protect their lungs. Toxic air and rising pollution are some of the issues facing China's next leader Xi Jinping. And as the ruling communist party holds its annual national congress, international journalists say the issue of air quality must be faced. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) TOKYO TV CORPORATION CORRESPONDENT, KOBAYASHI FUMINORI, SAYING: "It's difficult (for China) to on one hand develop economy, and the other hand to consider environmental issues. But it has already come to such a degree, and it's badly affecting people's health. I hope (NPC delegates) will seriously think about the problem this year." Beijing's air quality was 30-45 times above the recommend safety levels in January, prompting public outcry. But it won't be easy to balance industrial growth with environmental protection. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, STEPHEN MCDONELL, SAYING: "The question now is what are they really going do about it. Once these new leaders are put in place during this Congress, and they are the ones that have to decide on the solution. I supposed ordinary people are going to be calling on them to try and do something about it, about air pollution and also about things like, you know, decertification. The government has promised to limit traffic, but others say the country must reduce its dependence on coal and invest in clean energy technology.