Does Beijing always have smog?

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Beijing temporarily closed hundreds of factories and allowed only half of the city’s cars on the streets every other day to achieve a clear blue sky for a military parade in 2015. The smog returned to its usual state after the parade. Beijing has many UNESCO World Heritage Sites and over a million people live in nuclear bunkers beneath the city’s streets. Recycling on the subway is encouraged through a ticket exchange program.

While much of the world has had to get used to wearing a face mask due to the pandemic, people in Beijing have been doing it for years to combat the omnipresent smog. But for a short time in 2015, a blue sky covered the Chinese capital. It was a man-made miracle to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat and the end of WWII. Beijing has decided to host the largest military parade in its history, but instead of holding such a celebration against a gray backdrop, officials have taken steps to ensure the skies are azure blue.

To achieve this, hundreds of factories were temporarily closed and only half of the city’s five million cars were allowed to hit the streets every other day. Suddenly, towards the end of August 2015, the smog disappeared and, for the first time in ages, people were able to look up at the clear blue beauty. The parade played perfectly, and then everything was back to normal. Factories were back up and running, millions more cars were back on the road, and by early September, the smog had returned to its stable position over the city.

Beautiful and bizarre Beijing:
Beijing boasts the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and five other UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
It is estimated that more than a million people live in nuclear bunkers that lie beneath the city’s streets.
To encourage recycling, passengers on the Beijing subway can recycle plastic bottles in exchange for travel tickets.

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