BEIJING: China's official media was highlighting the lighter side of air pollution, if there could be any, amid the government's battle against heavy smog that has enveloped 100 cities and made breathing difficult.
The national broadcaster, China Central Television, came up with 'five benefits' of pollution including its claim that it was causing greater unity among people. Global Times, the Communist Party-controlled paper, said that smog gave a military advantage to the country. The paper said air pollution might help the Chinese military by obscuring sight lines and hide the country's weapons systems from radars and other surveillance equipment used by foreign countries.
The CCTV put up an article on its website listing the advantages of pollution. Pollution makes China more equal and raises awareness among the people about the social cost of economic development, it said. It unites the Chinese people, and makes them more knowledgeable about meteorology and teaches them the English word, 'haze', it said.
The article was later removed from the website.
The official media came up for sharp criticism in Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.