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New Rules to Deal with Auto Pollution
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China will issue new rules and regulations to deal with worsening automobile pollution as part of the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), an official has said.
According to Li Xinmin, deputy director of the Pollution Control Department of the State Environmental Protection Administration, the country will implement a new auto emission standard and encourage the use of clean energy.
Supervision on automobile pollution will be strengthened and fuel quality will be improved, Li added.
Meanwhile, the bureau will support the production and use of energy-saving cars with low gas emissions in order to ensure the sustained development of the industry.
Keeping a balance between pollution and the development of the auto industry will be a key issue in the next five years, Li noted.
He warned that China is now facing a serious pollution problem due to the rapid growth of the auto industry.
He revealed that gas emission has become one of the main sources of urban pollution in China. It is estimated that by 2010, about 400 Chinese cities will be faced with extreme vehicle emission and coal pollution.
In the coming five years, China is expected to make great progress in developing environment-friendly cars and gradually complete the technological upgrading of the industry, said Chen Jiachang, an official from the New and High Technology Development and Industrialization Department of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
At present, China has about 5,800 auto-related enterprises that employ 2.2 million people, according to Chen Bin, deputy director of the Industrial Department of the State Development and Reform Commission.
The output value of the auto industry was 1.1 trillion yuan (123 billion US dollars) last year, accounting for nearly 2 percent of China's gross domestic product (GDP), compared with 1 percent of GDP at the end of the Ninth Five-year Plan period (1996-2000). The figure is estimated to rise to 2.5 percent by the end of 2010.
The increase of auto industry production as a proportion of GDP means that it has become one of the country's pillar industries.
Chen predicted that China's domestic demand for cars will keep rising in tandem with the rapid growth of the economy in the next five years, adding that market demand will hit 8 to 9 million units by 2010, with vehicle output reaching 10 million units.

(Xinhua News Agency October 25, 2005)

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