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China says polluting industry still growing too fast, heavy smog alert for Beijing

Published on Mar 26, 2014 12:19 AM
A Chinese tourist wears a face mask in Tiananmen Square as heavy air pollution continues to shroud Beijing in this file photo taken on February 26, 2014. Air pollution by sources ranging from cooking fires to auto fumes contributed to an estimated seven million deaths worldwide in 2012, the UN health agency said. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's energy-hungry, high-polluting industries continued to grow too fast in 2013, putting "huge pressures" on the environment and causing air quality to worsen, the country's pollution agency said on Tuesday.

Premier Li Keqiang "declared war" on pollution in a major policy address this month, but China has long struggled to strike a balance between protecting the environment and keeping up economic growth.

China is still too slow in reforming its resource-intensive economy, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said in a statement on its website.

"The pace of restructuring and upgrading industries has slowed, the mode of development remains crude, and emissions of atmospheric pollutants have long exceeded environmental capacity," it said.

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