Published February 28, 2013
BEIJING – Air quality has worsened in China's capital and surrounding regions as the country's new leaders gear up for a major congress where public anger has likely pushed pollution onto the agenda.
Particularly bad bouts of dirty air in recent weeks and unprecedented coverage in the state media are focusing attention on the issue ahead of two meetings next week that lay out priorities for the rest of the year.
Experts think it will be hard for delegates to the National People's Congress, China's rubber-stamp legislature, and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body, to ignore the issue of pollution.
Meanwhile, science officials have decided they need to come up with a Chinese word for PM2.5 — tiny particles that can enter the lungs and cause health problems.