One third of the Chinese territory suffers pollution from acid rain, according to the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA).
The administration has pledged to reduce the emission of sulfur dioxide in China, which is the main cause of acid rain, by 10 percent from its 2000 level by 2005.
The country has officially recognized four municipalities, 21 provincial capitals and 175 cities as zones heavily polluted by acid rain or sulfur dioxide, accounting for more than 10 percent of the total territory.
It is urgent for the country to control the sulfur dioxide emission by coal-fueled power plants, the SEPA official said.
Last year, coal-fueled power plants in China emitted a total 6.66 million tons of sulfur dioxide, accounting for 34.6 percent of the total.
No coal-fueled power plants will be built or expanded in big and medium-sized cities and in the remaining areas, power plants are required to be equipped with devices to eliminate sulfur dioxide, the administration said.
According to SEPA's five-year plan from 2000 to 2005 to cope with acid rain and sulfur dioxide, 137 large coal-fueled power plants must equip themselves with devices to purify the emission of sulfur dioxide.
The country will amend the present sulfur dioxide emission standard, the SEPA added.
Last year 81.7 percent of the country's electricity was produced by thermal power plants.
(Xinhua News Agency October 13, 2003)