China updates targets for air pollution

China will set more stringent targets for improving the nation’s air quality under a new three-year plan, as Beijing prepares to beef up a nationwide crackdown on polluters in its campaign to clear its notoriously toxic skies.

The government will set up a nationwide inspection system this year, which will give responsibility for regular checks on polluting companies and factories to local authorities, in addition to central government.

The government will also punish local authorities who do not enforce the regulations correctly. In some regions last year, regional governments issued blanket orders for companies to close even if they complied with tough emissions rules. The “one size fits all” strategy by some local authorities will not be tolerated.

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