|Xi sniffs out Beijing smog
President Xi Jinping stepped onto Beijing's smog-covered streets today, drawing praise from internet users.
“Breathing the same air, sharing the same fate,'' said a widely shared online headline, as a large swathe of China was covered by a dangerous blanket of haze for a sixth consecutive day.
Small airborne particles, which easily penetrate the lungs and are known as PM 2.5, have been linked to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths.
A shaky video and pictures emerged of Xi walking outdoors – without a face mask – in Nanluoguxiang, a popular shopping and cafe district just south of Beijing's ancient Drum Tower.
The stroll appeared to have been planned in advance, as television cameras were also in evidence in the pictures posted on Sina Weibo.
“Come to my house and take a look please Xi,'' implored one Sina Weibo user.
“Why isn't he wearing a face mask?'' asked another. “Isn't it bad for his health?''—AFP