No blue skies in Beijing as Chinese capital chokes on smog during key political meeting

Chinese police officers push away barriers before delegates arrive for a meeting on the eve of the opening session of the National People's Congress, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Monday, March 4, 2019.

(CNN)Beijing residents who are putting up with extra security checks and traffic restrictions this week for the annual meeting of the country's lawmakers are doing so without the usual compensation of glorious blue skies.

The Chinese capital was choking on smog Tuesday morning, even as the city's environment bureau said an orange air pollution warning issued over the weekend was due to be lifted as the situation improved.
An orange alert, the second-highest on the city's four-tier system, advises elderly people and children to remain indoors. During an orange alert, outdoor construction work is halted, and limited traffic restrictions are introduced in order to cut down on the amount of pollutants being added to the poisonous air.
Beijing is currently hosting the annual meeting of lawmakers known as the "Two Sessions." Sunday was the first day of the annual Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a body that nominally advises on laws and policy and whose members include numerous retired officials and celebrities. The National People's Congress, China's rubber stamp parliament, begins its annual session on Tuesday.