China premier says to “declare war” on pollution

BEIJING, (Reuters) – China will “declare war” on pollution, Premier Li Keqiang said yesterday at the start of the annual meeting of parliament, with the government unveiling detailed measures to tackle what has become a hot-button social issue.

It is not uncommon for air pollution in parts of China to breach levels considered by some experts to be hazardous. That has drawn much public ire and is a worry for China’s government, which fears any discontent that might compromise stability.

“We will resolutely declare war against pollution as we declared war against poverty,” Li told the almost 3,000 delegates to the country’s largely rubber-stamp legislature in a “state-of-the-union” address carried live on state television.

The battle against pollution will be waged via reforms in energy pricing to boost non-fossil fuel power and cutting capacity in the steel and cement sectors which are the sources of much air pollution.

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