China vows to clean up 60 per cent of cities by 2020
Published on Mar 17, 2014 2:11 PM
BEIJING (REUTERS) - China has pledged that it will make sure that 60 per cent of its cities meet national pollution standards by 2020, with pressure growing to make cities liveable as hundreds of millions of migrants are expected to relocate from the countryside.
China's environmental problems such as pollution and water scarcity are expected to intensify as rapid migration pushes urban infrastructures to the limit. Almost all Chinese cities monitored for pollution last year failed to meet the standards.
The environment has emerged as a key priority amid growing public disquiet about smog, dwindling and polluted water supplies and the contamination of farmland. Poor air quality is estimated to end hundreds of thousands of lives prematurely each year and has led to a series of riots and public protests.
The pledge on Sunday to clean up the nation's major metropolitan centres was made in a State Council plan for how to deal with China's rapid urbanisation drive.
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