March 20 - Rare spring snow lifts spirits in Beijing. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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Chinese residents woke up on Wednesday (March 20) greeted by rare spring snow fall which blanketed the city overnight.
The Chinese capital has been plagued by air pollution in recent months, but the snow fall cleared the usually haze-shrouded skies.
Air quality in Beijing was far above hazardous levels in January, reaching 755 on an index that measures particulate matter in the air with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers. A level of 300 is considered dangerous while the World Health Organization recommends a daily level of no more than 20.
On Wednesday morning, Beijing Environmental Monitor Centre said pollution level was between 55-75.
Heavy air pollution has increased criticism against the government, and some residents said more needs to be done.
The government has promised repeatedly to resolve the problem, and in recent days has unveiled new measures, including taking 180,000 old vehicles off the road in Beijing this year and controlling the "excessive" growth of new car sales in the city.
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