China to more than double air monitoring network
BEIJING (AFP) - China will more than double the number of cities covered by air quality monitoring, a top environment official said on Friday, as part of efforts to tackle heavy smog that has sparked huge public anger.
Swathes of acrid haze have repeatedly shrouded large parts of the country in recent months, provoking outrage among Internet users and unusually outspoken calls for action in state-run media.
By the end of this year China will release statistics for concentrations of PM2.5 - tiny particles that penetrate deep into the lungs - in a total of 190 cities, up from 74 in January, said Mr Wu Xiaoqing, a vice minister of environmental protection.
The move "will provide an effective measure to supervise local governments at all levels to make up their mind in addressing air pollution," he said on the sidelines of China's annual parliament session, the National People's Congress.