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Beijing's air pollution helps underline messages of Paris' COP21 summit

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Environmental activists could not have planned it better. As if to underline the importance of the COP21 climate change conference underway in Paris, the capital of the world's most populous country, China, spent much of the week choked by heavy smog.

"The Paris conference is not the finishing line but a new starting point," President Xi Jinping told world leaders in Paris on Monday. "Tackling climate change is a shared mission for mankind." His citizens have responded with a barrage of Weibo posts noting that, had the conference been held in the Chinese capital, the mission may have been treated more urgently.

Click ahead to see how air pollution created by 30 years of unchecked industrial activity has left Beijing under a dark and poisonous cloud.

—By Janine Tan | Special to CNBC
Posted 02 December 2015

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