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Chinese man driven to divorce after smog tears his family apart

Man seeking to divorce wife after she took their son to tropical island to escape Beijing’s notorious smog

Beijing: 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, saying the long-distance relationship had destroyed their marriage, state media said on Thursday.

No air, no air: Unfettered industrial expansion has hopelessly polluted the atmosphere in China. representation Pic/Thinkstock
No air, no air: Unfettered industrial expansion has hopelessly polluted the atmosphere in China. representation Pic/Thinkstock 

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

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

However, Wang’s wife did not like Hainan and nor did she like living apart from him, and whenever the two of them met they fought, the report said.

Fed up with this, Wang has 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 is pending with the court, the report added. It, however, did not say what his wife thought of the divorce proposal.

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

The government has said tackling pollution is a top priority, but has made little impact on the smog that blights the lives of millions.

Fresh air at £500
Last month, a Chinese artist captured a jar of ‘clean, Provence air’ after a trip to France and sold it at an auction for a whopping ¥5,250 (£500) in Beijing.

Liang Kegang was so fed up with his city’s poor air quality that he decided to sell bottled atmosphere as an act of protest, and it sold successfully.

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