Chinese President Xi Jinping made an unannounced visit to a trendy alley in central Beijing despite the hazardous smog that has enveloped the city for several days.

Photos of Mr. Xi’s visit on Tuesday morning to Nanluoguxiang, a traditional alleyway popular with tourists and fashionable youth, circulated on Chinese social media sites.

Mr. Xi wore a black jacket and pants and was followed by a posse of similarly plainly suited Beijing city officials.

Guan Shiyue, a resident who lives in a small home on a nearby alley, said Mr. Xi visited him and sat between him and his wife on their living room sofa.

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