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Beijing to limit cars, factories to ensure clean air for war anniversary

[BEIJING] Beijing will limit the number of vehicles on the streets and shut factories to ensure clean air during a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, the government and media said on Monday.

The heavily polluted capital, often cloaked in a choking grey haze, will hold a military parade on Sept 3, which is likely to centre around Tiananmen Square in the heart of the city.

The parade will be a highlight of a series of events the government has planned for the anniversary of Japan's formal surrender on Sept 2, 1945.

From Aug 20 to Sept 3, the city will halve the number of vehicles allowed on the streets, restricting cars according to their licence plate numbers, the People's Daily, the ruling Communist Party's official newspaper, said on its microblog.

The city will also impose temporary controls on industry, coal-burning boilers and construction, forcing them either to stop or curb operations during the period, the government said on its microblog account on Weibo.

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The capital, which has been enveloped by smog for the past few weeks, often enacts pollution controls ahead of major events such as the 2008 Olympic Games and a meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum leaders last year.

The city government said it was drawing from the experience of the 2008 Games and the APEC meeting to ensure "the full protection of air quality during the commemoration".

On Saturday, the Xinhua state news agency said authorities would impose temporary air traffic restrictions over Beijing during the military parade.

Workers will also be given three days off over the anniversary, ostensibly to ease congestion.

Chinese communist and nationalist forces battled Japanese forces that occupied much of China during World War Two.

The Chinese forces later fought a civil war which communist forces won in 1949.


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