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A side effect of China's rapid industrial growth, pollution now hangs heavily in many Chinese cities, where cheap energy prices and minimal environmental regulations have only hastened the hazy smog and poisoned waterways of the country.
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Tiananmen Square sits under a thick blanket of smog, which the U.S. Embassy's daily air index has rated as hazardous, darkening the afternoon sun in Beijing January 18, 2012. Air pollution in China's capital has been so bad that the air quality monitoring system used by the U.S. Embassy here has described the pollution as being off the scale. The World Bank reports that 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in China, with Beijing being the 10th most polluted capital. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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