State newspaper: China to spend $275B on pollution

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In this photo taken Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, cars are cramped into a parking lot during a day of heavy pollution in Beijing, China. China plans to increase the number of cities that restrict vehicle purchases in a bid to fight pollution and traffic congestion, state media reported Thursday, July 11, 2013. With more than 13 million cars sold in China last year, motor vehicles and their emissions have emerged as the chief culprit for the air pollution in large cities. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

BEIJING — A state newspaper says China will spend $275 billion to tackle air pollution over the next five years.

The China Daily said Thursday the plan targets Beijing, the neighboring city of Tianjin and densely populated Hebei province, which surrounds them.

The government was long indifferent to the environment as it pursued economic development. China’s major cities have some of the world’s worst smog and water supplies are badly polluted.

The government has begun launching anti-pollution initiatives after mounting public frustration.

The China Daily said the latest initiative aims to reduce emissions of pollutants in Beijing and surrounding areas by 25 percent from 2012 levels within five years. It said details would be released later this month at the earliest.

The environment ministry didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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