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China sets targets for curbing air pollution

Published on Jan 8, 2014 12:30 PM
People in masks walking past a statue of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong in downtown Shanghai during a hazy day last December. State media quoted former health minister Chen Zhu as saying that air pollution in China causes premature deaths of 350,000 to 500,000 people yearly. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China has set new targets for its provinces to reduce air pollution by 5 to 25 per cent, state media said on Tuesday, underscoring the government's concern about a source of public anger.

China regularly issues directives to try to tackle air pollution in major cities, but these have had limited effect.

Former health minister Chen Zhu said air pollution in the country causes premature deaths of 350,000 to 500,000 people yearly, state media reported on Tuesday. Mr Chen wrote the article in a December issue of the Lancet medical journal.

Air quality in large parts of northern and southern China reached unhealthy levels on Tuesday.

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