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Parents walk primary school students to school amid thick haze in Chiping County, Shandong province, on Friday.

China's meteorological administration issued a yellow smog alert early on Wednesday, predicting smog will persist in most parts of the country in the upcoming days, Xinhua News Agency reported. Air pollution contributed to an estimated 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010.

Image: A woman rides her electric bicycle along a street amid thick haze in Chiping county
A woman rides her electric bicycle along a street amid thick haze in Chiping county in China's Shandong province on Jan. 16.CHINA DAILY / Reuters