Smog levels in Beijing this year were almost seven times the maximum exposure recommended by the World Health Organization. That makes the smog a matter of life and death.

In the first quarter of this year more than 90 percent of Chinese cities failed to meet the government's own air-quality standards.

Air pollution contributes to 17 percent of all deaths in China.

As many as 1.6 million people died this year as a result of air pollution, the Berkeley Research Group estimates. That is about 4,400 people dying every day.

But what is the government doing to tackle the issue? And why has it failed to strike a balance between economic growth and public health?

Presenter: Kamahl Santamaria

Guests:

Einar Tangen - Political and economic affairs analyst advising the Chinese government

Steve Tsang - Senior fellow at the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham in the UK

Tamara Savelyeva - Professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education

Source: Al Jazeera