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China Maps Plan to Fight for Cleaner Air in 2018

China will release a three-year plan to fight for cleaner air in 2018, Minister of Environmental Protection Li Ganjie said over the weekend.

By 2020, cities at the prefecture level and above will see more good air days, accounting for 80 percent of the year or about 292 days, Li said at the two-day national environmental protection work conference which concluded on February 3.

Cities below the air quality standards will see their average density of PM 2.5, a key indicator of air pollution, drop by 18 percent compared to 2015 figures, Li said.

Action plans for air pollution control will also be introduced in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and surroundings, the Yangtze River Delta, and other target areas.

China accomplished all the major tasks of its five-year clean air action plan in 2017, but challenges remain. Only 29 percent of 338 Chinese cities met the air quality standards last year, official data showed.

According to Li, the key indicators for battling pollution are sharp decline in emissions of major polluters, overall environmental quality improvement, and improved green growth.

"Winning the blue-sky battle is high on the agenda, while people's happiness about the good weather shall be increased," Li stressed.

China will continue to promote the use of clean energy for heating in northern regions while accelerating the elimination of coal-fired boilers, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

The ministry will launch a supervision campaign to look back on the efforts made in key areas of environmental protection and pollution reduction, Li added.

(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2018)

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