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'Air pollution broke my marriage'

A Beijing man is seeking to divorce his wife after she took their son to a tropical island province to escape the capital’s notorious smog. He said the long-distance relationship had destroyed their marriage, media said yesterday.

The man, identified only by his family name of Wang, married his wife in 2008 and they had a son two years later, the Beijing Times reported in a story widely picked up by other Chinese media outlets.

File photo: Carlos Barria. Credit: Reuters

But their son developed serious health problems because of Beijing’s air pollution and his wife took their son to the southern resort island of Hainan to escape the haze.

However, Wang’s wife did not like Hainan and she did not like living apart from him. Whenever the two of them met they fought, the report said.

Fed up with this, Wang had filed for divorce in a Beijing court, the newspaper said.

“Smog ‘buried’ my son’s health, and it has ‘buried’ my marriage,” he was quoted as saying.

The divorce case was pending, the report added. It did not say what his wife thought of the divorce proposal.

Years of unfettered economic growth have taken their toll on China’s environment. Pollution, especially smog in major cities, is a major source of public dissatisfaction and unrest.

The government has said tackling pollution was a top priority, but so far has made little impact on the smog that blights the lives of millions. –Reuters

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