Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Smog covers Beijing the day before National Day

Heavy smog descended on Beijing on Wednesday, the day before China is due to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Founding of the Peoples' Republic of China. The US Embassy's air monitoring station registered the air quality as hazardous and in Tiananmen Square Chairman Mao's portrait was virtually invisible through the haze.

Security was high throughout the city with armed members of Beijing's elite SWAT teams brandishing their QBZ-95 assault rifles. A Chairman Mao look alike posed for pictures as street vendors sold Chinese flags. Most Beijingers will be unable to wave them at tomorrow's parade however as only invited guests are allowed to attend. Instead most will watch the proceedings on television.

Although Xinhua, the state news agency, is reporting good weather for Thursday there are conflicting reports from other agencies suggesting heavy rain may dampen proceedings. It will all start at around 10 am Beijing time [04:00 GMT] with a flotilla or tanks, floats and marching soldiers taking part in a massive parade.

tvnewswatch, Beijing, China.

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