Chinese vice premier urges improved air quality

Beijing, Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli Thursday called on local authorities and various industries to make more efforts for ensuring better air quality.

Zhang made the remarks at a meeting on air pollution control in Beijing and its surrounding areas, encompassing Tianjin Municipality and Hebei province, Xinhua reported.

While praising local governments' "good start" in the fight against smog, Zhang stressed that this is a "long-term, arduous and complicated" mission and people must be clearly aware of the situation and retain the determination to solve it.

For the first quarter of 2014, the 13 cities in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei that are on the hotspot air pollution list saw their average PM2.5 readings drop by 9.5 percent year on year, PM10 down by 8.3 percent.

According to Zhang, air pollution control and general environmental protection should be incorporated into the region's coordinated development plans.

He called for unified industrial standards and environmental policies for Beijing and its surroundings as a foundation for industrial upgrades and environmental improvements.

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