A popular documentary about China's environmental woes that has been viewed hundreds of millions of times over the past week was removed from Chinese websites as the country's legislature holds its closely watched annual meeting.
The 104-minute film called "Under the Dome" could no longer be seen Saturday morning on popular Chinese video streaming sites. Website Hao123 showed an error message warning that the documentary did not pass the site's checks. The movie could still be seen on Hong Kong-based news site ifeng.com and YouTube.
Former state television news reporter Chai Jing stars in the professionally produced documentary and has said she produced the movie to dramatize the health and societal costs of China's severe pollution problems. In the film, she describes her anxiety at raising her daughter largely indoors to protect her from air pollution and details the causes and consequences of environmental degradation.
The film was released last weekend at a politically sensitive moment, days before the National People's Congress kicked off its annual meeting under polluted skies in Beijing. It had originally received support from the country's environment minister and praise from Chinese state media.